Aug
26
    
Posted (Lori) in News

Dear CSA Member

Tomatoes.  If you can‘t use all of the tomatoes you receive with your CSA share they are easy to freeze.  A number of years ago a CSA member told me about her freezing method for tomatoes.  Before that time I had always blanched them, taken the skins off and then put them in freezer bags.  She said that her mom would wash the tomatoes, cut the tomatoes in 1/2 or 1/4 and put them in freezer bags.  When they were ready to use the tomatoes were thawed and the skins would slip right off.  It really does work great.
There is a whole list of produce that we have available in bulk this week from the online Marketplace.  We have tomatoes by the 25 pound box if there are members that would like to preserve for the wintertime.   Hot Peppers, Genovese Basil from our farm.  Peaches and Blackberries from neighboring orchard and farm.  The Peaches are conventionally grown, the Blackberries are no spray but not Certified Organic.
Members asked to have the list of what will be in the upcoming share and also the bulk order produce available. I will post on the farm website Farm Blog a good guess of the upcoming Share and the list of the bulk produce.  You can place a Marketplace order anytime during the week and your order will be delivered with the next CSA share delivery.
The Fall Farm Visit is coming fast.  The visit is scheduled for September 7 from 11:30-3.  Use the 145 Garcia Lane, Leeds, NY 12451 address.  Please bring a dish to share and your own place setting.  We will have a barbecue along with roast corn, portobello mushrooms and a Vegetarian Chili.  Fresh fruit, water and coffee will also be available.  We will have wagon rides around the fields, Scarecrow making, pick a bouquet of flowers and a bunch of carrots to take home.  Our own Marketplace items will be available for purchase.  There will be three other local farms and businesses at the visit.  Heather Ridge Farm.  Contact Heather Ridge to place an order before the festival or pick up some of their products at the festival. Grass fed meats, poultry, fiber products, beeswax candles. All of the meat will be frozen so bring a cooler to bring home your meat.  Info at http://heather-ridge-farm.com/ or /www.facebook.com/pages/Heather-Ridge-Farm.  Gary Wiltbank, Wiltbank Farm with baskets of Shiitake and Oyster Mushrooms.  Banana Moon Baking Company https://www.facebook.com/BananaMoonBakingCompany with their delicious home made baked goods.
Hope to see you on the 7th at the Fall Farm Festival.
Enjoy the Vegetables
Deborah for everyone at Stoneledge Farm
Tomatoes-6 slicers
Sungold Cherry Tomatoes-1 basket
Peppers-2
Broccoli-1 head
Thryme-1 bunch
Cabbage-1 head.  First of the fall planting of Cabbage.
Collards-1 bunch.  So good.
Celery-1 head.  The celery is not what you find on the grocery shelf.  Our celery is very green, a bit on the tougher side but with a delicious flavor.  Best used in cooking.
Shallots-4
Hot Peppers-Serrano-4 if you like.  I have added info on the Recipe Section of the farm website about freezing and drying hot peppers.
Fruit Share-
Blackberries-no spray-1 basket
Peaches-1 bag
Red Clapp Pears-1 bag
Mushroom Share- Cremini

Stoneledge Farm LLC
359 Ross Ruland Road
South Cairo, NY  12482

LIKE us at https://www.facebook.com/StoneledgeFarm


 
Aug
26
    
Posted (Lori) in News

WEEK 12 RECIPES/TIPS: Preserving tomatoes, broccoli, shallots

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

  1. 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.
  2. Stir from time to time, mashing up any large pieces of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. 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)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

BROCCOLI QUICKIES

For each of these: Cut off the rough ends of the stems. If you’re fussy or if the broccoli is old, use a vegetable peeler to peel off the top layer of the stems. Cut the florets and stems into bite sized pieces. Cook by:

–Dropping into a pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes

–Microwaving (in a microwave-safe dish, with just a few drops of water) for about 2 minutes

–Steaming in a steamer basket over boiling water for about two minutes

–Sauteeing in oil or butter for about 3 minutes

BROCCOLI WITH GINGER, BUTTER, AND NUTS: Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter for 2 cups of broccoli. Mince the ginger finely or grate it so that you have about 2 tsps; add it to the melted butter. Toss all the ingredients together; salt and pepper to taste.

BROCCOLI WITH SHALLOTS AND BLEU CHEESE: Mix ¼ cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, a squirt of lemon juice, and salt and pepper; add about 1 tbs of crumbled bleu cheese. If you can, leave for several hours before serving. Add to broccoli, with 1 tbs. minced shallot.

BROCCOLI WITH CHILI OIL

  • 1/2 medium jalapeno with half of the seeds and veins removed, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup peanut, corn, or blended vegetable oil (see Notes)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch white pepper


Chili Oil

Heat the jalapeno, shallot, and oil in a small saucepan over medium heat for several minutes. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes for flavors to meld. While the oil is still warm, stir in water, sugar, salt, and pepper. When ready to serve, spoon the flavored oil over the broccoli and toss gently.

BROCCOLI GRATIN:

Melt 3 tbs butter in a skiller. Add 3 tablespoons flour, stir until full combined. Add 2 cups milk (heat to almost boiling in a microwave first, if you have a microwave). Stir constantly over very low heat until it thickens (this is a basic white/béchamel sauce). Add salt and pepper to taste, and a grating of nutmeg if you like nutmeg. In small baking dish, combine the white sauce with the broccoli; add cheese if you want (cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, feta, goat—really, anything goes). Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crumbs are golden and the the sauce is bubbly.

BEST BROCCOLI RECIPE EVER

Here is someone who claims to have the best broccoli recipe ever; It don’t see what’s so special, but he seems so confident that I’m including it.

http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2008/11/the_best_brocco.html

SHALLOTS

Shallots are fine-textured oinions with a mild, but complex taste.  They can be used in place of onions, especially when the recipe calls for ubcooked onions, such as in a salad dressing. Two classic uses:

CARMELZED SHALLOTS: Heat two tablespoons olive oil, butter, or a combination in a small skillet. Add ¼ cup chopped shallots. Saute, stirring constantly for about two minutes, until they soften. Add 1 tsp sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Keep sautéing until the shallots are very soft and brown. Some recipes call for adding herbs (thyme, which we’re getting this week is most common) and a splash of vinegar or water. Use the czarmelized shallots as a topping for focaccia, in salads, or as a side dish.

CRISPY FRIED SHALLOTS (From Mother Earth News):

Fried Shallots Recipe makes 2 servings as an appetizer or serves 4 as a garnish.

Crispy fried shallots are great solo or as a tasty topping for simple dishes — green beans and mashed potatoes are classics. Shallots can be simply fried in hot oil, but going to the extra effort of breading them first will prove worth the time. As with most shallot recipes, feel free to substitute onions (for onion rings) if you prefer.

Ingredients:

8 ounces shallots (about 6 to 8 large shallots), sliced carefully into rings about 1/4-inch thick
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black and cayenne pepper, to taste
All-purpose flour (about 1/2 inch in the bottom of a wide bowl)
1 egg beaten with 2 tsp water
Bread or cracker crumbs, finely ground (about 1/2 inch in the bottom of a wide bowl)
Cooking fat, such as peanut oil or lard

Instructions:

Separate the shallot rings on a platter and toss with salt. Allow them to rest for at least 15 minutes, then blot dry completely with a towel. Season with peppers. Working one at a time, dredge each ring in flour and shake off the excess. Next, dip it into the egg mixture and let it drain completely. Then dip the ring into the crumbs, coating both sides thoroughly. Set the rings on a platter; do not allow them to touch. Allow the rings to rest for at least 20 minutes.

Fill a frying pan with a quarter-inch of oil or lard, and heat over medium-high until a thermometer registers 325 degrees Fahrenheit or the oil begins to shimmer. Fry the rings in batches to avoid overcrowding, for about 3 minutes total, flipping them carefully after the first side is golden. Drain on a towel and sprinkle with salt while hot. Leftovers can be brought back to life by reheating in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.


 
Aug
19
    
Posted (Lori) in News

Dear CSA Member

Green Beans, Red Wing Onions, Bright Lights Swiss Chard, Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes.  A rainbow of colors. The calendar says August but the temperature has felt more like late September.  Wonderful summer vegetables still fill the shares.
There are 1/2 bushel boxes of Eggplant and also 25 pound boxes of Plum Tomatoes for purchase through the online CSA Marketplace again this week.  The Plum Tomatoes have been picked a bit firm so you will need to let them ripen for a day or two.  There are a limited number of boxes of each so if you would like to order for this week, please place your online order.
The Marketplace has proven to be a bit tricky to find on the website.  I am working with the programmers to develop a quicker link but for now to access the Marketplace please follow the steps below:
Log into your account from the farm website homepage
Click on Marketplace on the upper menu bar
Click on 2013 in the box
Click again on Marketplace on the upper menu bar
Select the items you would like to order and complete the payment screens
Farm Fall Festival September 7 11:30-3:00.  More information on the farm website Farm Blog www.stoneledgefarmny.org and on the farm Face Book page https://www.facebook.com/StoneledgeFarm.  Hope you can attend.
Enjoy the summer and the vegetables.
Deborah for everyone at Stoneledge Farm
Green Beans-1 pound
Red Wing Onions-2
Peppers: 1 Round of Hungary Pepper( flat, shamrock shape, heirloom), 1 Biscayne
Bright Lights Swiss Chard-1 bunch
Oriental Eggplant-2
Basil-1 bunch
Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes-1 basket
Serrano Hot Peppers-4 if you would like
Tomatoes:I will need to send the information  Monday after we finish with the harvest
Fruit Shares: 1 bag of each
Yellow Peaches
Donut Peaches
Mushroom Share:  Oyster Mushrooms

Stoneledge Farm LLC
359 Ross Ruland Road
South Cairo, NY  12482

LIKE us at https://www.facebook.com/StoneledgeFarm


 
Aug
19
    
Posted (Lori) in News

Green beans are easy; top and tail them, cook them briefly, add just a bit of flavoring, and they’re ready. Looking through recipe sites, most of the green bean recipes seemed to need no more information than their titles: Green beans with lemon and feta; green beans with bacon and chives; green beans with maple syrup and ham; green beans with olives and capers. If you’re looking for a whole bunch of recipes that use green beans, try this site:

http://www.splendidtable.org/search/content/green%20beans

And while you’re on the Splendid Table site—you’ll find great recipes for all our vegetables and fruit if you surf around.

So—here are 7 ways to cook string beans and 10 things that are often added to them—singly or in combinations; followed by a few recipes. At the end, there’s a recipe for a tian, a crustless quiche/pilaf dish that uses any combination of vegetables.

Cooking:

1. Blanch in a pot of salted boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and plunge into boiling water.

2. Steam over boiling water.

3. Saute in butter or olive oil for a minute or two; add extra flavor by sautéing garlic, olives, and spices before adding the green beans to the butter or olive oil.

4. Braise in stock for 8-10 minutes

5. Microwave by putting them in a microwave-safe bowl with just a little water; a half-pound needs about 2 minutes on high

6. Roast them in a 400 degree oven; toss with olive oil then spread on a cookie sheet. They will be done in 5-10 minutes, depending on how well-done you like them.

7. Fry them; dip them in egg, then in seasoned flour or bread crumbs. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet, then place the coated green beans in the pan, in one layer; when they are golden brown on one side, turn them over until they are fully cooked.

Additions

1. Lemon, butter, salt, pepper—all you need.

2. Nuts. String beans amandine is the most familiar; pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts also work well. Start with string beans cooked any of the ways listed above; add butter, lemon (or vinaigrette) toasted nuts, salt and pepper.

3. Bread crumbs, plain or flavored. You can make bread crumbs from stale bread; let it air dry, or dry It in a  225 degree oven for a few minutes. Crumb or break into chunks and grate in a food processor. Add spices or spice mixes—chili, curry, zaatar, herbes de provence—and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle over cooked green beans.

4. Meat. Sausage, bacon and bacon grease seem to be favorites, but bits of any kind of meat or seafood can be added.

5. Cheese. Crumbled feta or goat cheese, shaved parmesan, melted brie or cheddar, mixed in or used as a topping.

6. Herbs. Dill, marjoram, cilantro, and summer savory are common bean herbs, but the basil we’re getting this week will work as well, especially if you’re adding tomatoes.

7. Tomatoes. Chunks of tomato, with mozzarella, and basil is an easy salad. Or add diced tomatoes to a vinaigrette served over beans

8. Potatoes—especially good with creamy dressings

9. Other beans: For 3-, 4-, or higher-number bean salads, add garbanzos, cannelinni, kidney, pinto, lima, black, or any other bean and a vinaigrette dressing.

10. Dressings: Creamy dressings such as green goddess, horseradish, or bleu cheese; vinaigrettes; tahini- and peanut-butter dressings all work well with green beans.

GREEK-STYLE GREEN BEANS—From The Splendid Table, based on a recipe from Crystal Dragonwagon

1 pound fresh green beans, tipped and tailed

Vegetable oil cooking spray

3 tablespoons olive oil

About 1 tablespoon medium to finely chopped garlic (5 or 6 cloves)

1 large fresh tomato, chopped (I go ahead and leave the skin on and seeds in; if you are fussier than me, remove both and use only the chopped pulp of 2 tomatoes)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

A few dashes of cayenne

1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried dill

Blanch the green beans: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. When the water is boiling, add the green beans and cook for 2 minutes. Drain them well, then rinse with cold water, and drain them again.

Spray a large, heavy (preferably cast iron) skillet with a tight-fitting cover with oil, and set it over very low heat. Add the olive oil, scatter the garlic over it, and add the blanched green beans (in contrast to most sautes, the green beans are added when neither pan, nor oil, nor garlic, is yet hot). Scatter the tomato over the beans. Don’t stir.

Still keeping the heat as low as possible, cover the beans and let them just barely cook, without stirring, for about 40 minutes. I know it’s hard, but keep on not stirring; leave the heat low enough so that nothing burns. If you like, you can push a few beans back to check on the garlic at the bottom of the skillet. It should not be browning, merely cooking very, very slowly. Some of the beans will be browned on oneside, which is good. If this hasn’t happened yet, cover again and cook for 10, even 15, minutes more.

When the beans are soft, lift the lid and stir gently. It is unlikely, but if there’s a noticeable amount of liquid in the skillet, turn the heat up and, stirring gently but constantly, evaporate the liquid off. You want soft, barely-holding-together green beans. They should be slightly shriveled-looking and browned lightly here and there, with a bit of the garlic-tomato jam sticking to them.

Turn off the heat. Salt and pepper the beans, sprinkle them with the cayenne and dill, stir one more time, and serve.

Bihari Green Beans Masala

Recipe by Julie Sahni

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or light olive oil
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Heat the oil in a 3-quart sauté pan over medium heat. Add almonds and cook, stirring, until light golden. Remove from heat and transfer almonds to a plate or bowl; set aside for garnish.

Add onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, chili pepper flakes and salt to the unwashed sauté pan, and return to medium heat. Sauté until the onion is tender and begins to fry, about 4 minutes.

Add coconut milk and green beans. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until the beans are tender, about 6 minutes.

Sprinkle beans with lime juice, and toss lightly. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and garnish with almonds and cilantro. Serve with plain cooked rice or roti flatbread.

JAPANESE-STYLE STRINGBEANS WITH SESAME SEEDS

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

½ pound green beans, trimmed and blanched or steamed

2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Combine the sesame seeds, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar; whisk until sugar is dissolved. Pour the dressing over the green beans and toss. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the beans.

VEGETABLE TIAN

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 to 3 large garlic cloves, to taste, minced

2 lbs of vegetables cut in 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice

(eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, greens, what-

ever combination you want)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon

crumbled dried thyme

1/2 cup rice, cooked

2 eggs

3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (3/4 cup) (or a similar cheese)

1/4 cup breadcrumbs (fresh or dry)

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Oil a 2-quart gratin dish.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir together for about 30 seconds, until it begins to smell fragrant, and stir in the squash. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft/translucent but not mushy, 5 to 10 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the thyme and rice, and remove from the heat

Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon salt and the cheese. Stir in the zucchini

mixture and combine well. Scrape into the gratin dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top. Drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top

is browned and the gratin is sizzling. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

FROM: The Splendid Table


 
Aug
12
    
Posted (Lori) in News

WEEK 10, TIPS/RECIPES: BASIL, SHAKSHOUKA, FOCCACIA, KALE, BEETS

There aren’t any new, unfamiliar vegetables in this week’s share, so I’m posting info about storing basil, passing on two of my faves (shakshuka and focaccia), and adding a few recipes from old newsletters.

BASIL

Several people asked about storing basil. I think we all know that it shouldn’t be stored in the refrigerator; basil turns black at temperatures under 50 degrees (something about ethelyne gas). I usually keep it in water, in a glass or small vase on the countertop. Some people suggested covering it with a plastic bag—so I experimented. I divided my basil into three bunches. I put one third into a glass of water; I cut the bottom off the stems every couple of days. The second bunch was placed in another glass of water, but I put a clear pastic bag with a few holes punched in it over the leaves. (The last bunch was eaten with tomatoes and cheese.) Both glasses of basil looked about the same on Friday, when I packed them and took them upstate with me. They looked wilted when I took them out, but as soon as I put them back in their respective glasses, they perked up. The bottoms of the plastic-covered basil were a bit mushy, so I cut those off.

Looking at both glasses on Monday morning—both look, smell, and taste fine. If there’s a difference, it’s minimal, and I’d say the one without the plastic looks better, but the one with the plastic is more fragrant. There are a few wilted leaves on each. I can’t see that the plastic bag made much difference—maybe it makes the basil last longer, but I’m using it up today, so I don’t care. Apologies to all the scientists in our group for the unscientific methods used here.

Basil can also be frozen; blanch it by throwing it into a pot of boiling water for a few seconds, then squeeze out the water, put it in ziplock bags and put in the freezer. It’s not as good when you take it out, but still worthwhile.

I’m NOT going to suggest infusing oil with basil—just too risky, unless you use it immediately.

Here are recipes for two dressings/sauces that use basil in large quantities:

Basil rouille:

Mince or finely grate 2 garlic cloves and transfer to a blender. Add ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves, 1.4 cup mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons oil, 2 anchovy filets, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Purée until smooth. Great with fish or over tomatoes.

Pesto:

The classic use for basil and it freezes well. This recipe is from Ina Garten. It’s a big batch—about 4 cups—but can be cut in half. Cutting down further doesn’t blend very well. This recipe combines walnuts with pignoli. I don’t think you get real pesto taste unless you use at least some pignoli and it’s one of the only recipes on which I splurge for the ridiculously expensive nuts. I sometimes use slivered almonds instead of the walnuts.

1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.

To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/pesto-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

FOCACCIA

This is one of those Eureka recipes. Simple, fast, versatile, delicious. There’s no salt in the dough, which is why it rises so quickly. It’s finished in about an hour, start to ready-to-eat with only about 15 minutes of active prep time.

It’s fine plain—but toppings turn it into a delicious full meal. Try it with ratatouille; braised greens; anchovies and cheese; olives and capers; carmelized onions. The topping should be warm or hot when spread; After spreading the topping, you can put it back into a warm oven for a few minutes.  I sometimes split the focaccia horizontally and use it for sandwiches, such as egg salad with thinly sliced radish or broiled zucchini, eggplant, pepper, and onion.

I found this recipe of Allrecipes, just sitting there among all the other recipes that are not as fantastic.

1 tsp white sugar

1 pkg (.25 ounce, 2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast

1/3 cup warm water

2 cups flour

2 tbs. olive oil

1/2 tsp coarse salt

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with flour; stir well to combine. Stir in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all of the flour is absorbed. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly for about 1 minute.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
  5. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface; knead briefly. Pat or roll the dough into a sheet and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush the dough with oil and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake focaccia in preheated oven for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on desired crispness. If you like it moist and fluffy, then you’ll have to wait just about 10 minutes. If you like it crunchier and darker in the outside, you may have to wait 20 minutes.

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

The following two recipes are from a newsletter from the 88th Street CSA

ALCHEMICAL KALE

from thekitchn.com

serves 2 to 4 as a side dish

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large bunch of kale, stripped of stems, washed and

drained in a colander

Salt

4 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Choose a wide pan with sides, or a wok; either way,

having a lid that fi ts is important. Film the bottom

with the olive oil and set over medium heat. Add the

kale and a few pinches of salt. Toss lightly with tongs

so the kale is evenly coated with oil, then lower the

heat and set the lid fi rmly on top of the pan.

Meanwhile, mix the tahini and lemon juice in a small

bowl or coffee cup. The tahini may stiffen up a bit,

which isn’t a problem. After about 5 minutes, check

the kale and give it another toss. It should be wilt-

ed and there should be enough liquid in the pan to

keep things moist and steaming. Add a little water if

it seems too dry.

Cover and cook another few minutes or until the kale

is almost black in color and has a nice, chewy texture.

Turn off the fl ame and add about half of the tahini

sauce. Toss. Add more sauce if need, up to the entire

amount, to coat the kale.

Taste for salt. Serve hot

WARM ROASTED BEET SALAD WITH SAUTEED LEEKS,

TOASTED WALNUTS, AND HERBED CHEVRE

from http://green.yahoo.com

2 whole beets, about the size of a lemon

1/2 cup walnut halves,

1/4 cup olive oil (divided use)

2 leeks, white and light green only, thinly sliced,

washed twice

1 tablespoon mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, thyme, chives and/or dill (divided use)

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar

4 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre), log-shape

Roast the beets (skin-on) at 325 degrees, until very

tender, about 1 hour. Rub with a paper towel to remove

the skin. Keep warm and covered. Toast the walnuts

in a 325-degree oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet; gently

sauté the leeks until they are tender, but not browned,

about 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and a

pinch of herbs.

Combine the remaining olive oil with the vinegar and 1

teaspoon of herbs to create a vinaigrette; season with

salt and pepper. Coat the goat cheese with remain-

ing herbs. Slice the herbed goat cheese log into four

slices; transfer to a small pan and warm in the oven 5

minutes.

Slice the beets as thinly as possible into at least 20

slices (this is easiest with a mandolin or slicing device,

but can be done with a knife). Arrange the beet slices

as flower petals on four warm salad plates. Divide the

cooked leeks into mounds at the center of the beets.

Top with warm goat cheese and a sprinkling of toast-

ed nuts. Dress with the olive oil vinaigrette