Jun
22
    
Posted (Lori) in News

STIR-FRY; BEETS; SUMMER SQUASH; SUMMER SAVORY

Jesse sent this stir-fry  recipe a few weeks ago; I held it until we got summer squash. But I’ve madeit a few times already; it’s flexible and works with pretty much everything. I had almost all the ingredients on hand except the cilantro (I used parsley) and the toasted sesame oil (which I bought and which is now my best friend).

You’ll notice several mentions of the spiralizer in this post.  I don’t have my own yet, but have been playing with one in a friend’s kitchen; they’re really fun and create a whole new kind of vegetable; I’m just trying to decide which one to buy.   Spiralizers are worth every penny; but if you don’t have one, you can just slice the squash into thin sticks.

STIR-FRY RECIPE

*Note: this recipe makes a TON of stir fry – enough for Natalie and me to have for dinner and then 1-2 lunches each depending on our hunger level (our portion sizes could modestly be described as extra large)

Ingredients:

Olive oil

Toasted sesame oil

Stir-fry rice noodles (14 oz box)

Zucchini (2 medium size)

Stir-fry veggies (I recommend some combination of onion, garlic, eggplant, snow peas, carrots, broccoli, bok choi, peppers and/or anything else that looks good, as many or as few as you like!)

Eggs if you like

Tofu

Cilantro

Green onions

Peanuts

Soy sauce

Stir-fry sauce (my favorite one EVER is this miso maple one, but whatever you can get your hands on)

Limes

Sriracha

Sesame seeds

Szechuan pepper

Red pepper flakes

Salt

I like to start by doing a lot of prep: cut up all the veggies and separate them so you can add them to the pan at different times. Spiralize the zucchini, and start boiling the water for the rice noodles. Fry or bake the tofu to get it nice and crispy – set aside.

Start frying the vegetables in a combination of the two oils – I like to start at a medium-high heat and put onions and garlic in first. Sprinkle in some salt. Once the onions have started to soften and become aromatic, add the eggplant if you’re using it (highly recommended!) and fry for a few minutes. Be careful about how much oil you use if you do put eggplant in as it tends to absorb a lot of the oil! After the eggplant has fried just a bit, add about a quarter cup of water and let it steam for about 5 minutes with the cover to the pan on, until it’s looking pretty soft. At this point, add some soy sauce and stir fry sauce – you want it to be enough liquid that the eggplant is 1/3 to ½-way covered. Also add Szechuan pepper and red pepper flakes. Start adding the other vegetables in an order that they will cook how much you want (for example, I would add broccoli and carrots next but not cook for too long because I like them to be firm, and the bok choi or any green leafy vegetables very last). Sprinkle in some salt with some of the veggies you add. Next sauté the spiralized zucchini with the cooked rice noodles and salt in a separate pan. If you want to have eggs in it make some scrambled eggs now too. Once this is done, you’re ready to mix everything together. In a large bowl, add the fried veggies and noodle mixture in different layers, throwing in some tofu, eggs, and peanuts in at different layers as well. Serve into bowls and top with cilantro, fresh squeezed lime, sesame seeds, and sriracha.

BEETS

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—or spiralized–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

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 cool 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.

SUMMER SQUASH SALAD WITH BEETS

From Terra Firma Farm CSA

This recipe uses ALL of the beets — leaves and roots.  If you like raw zucchini in salads this way, you should consider getting a spiralizer or other kitchen utensil that does it easier and quicker.  Beet roots cooked this way have a texture and sweetness similar to dried figs.

Cut the tops off 1 bunch of beets.  Soak the leaves in a bowl of water while you slice the roots in rounds about 1/4? thick.

Toss the sliced beets with 2 t. olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Arrange on a baking sheet and bake at 350.  When they are lightly browned on the bottom — which will take 15-20 minutes — flip them.  The other side will brown much more quickly.

Meanwhile, drain the beet leaves, cut the stems off and then chop roughly.  Chop 1 spring onion, whites and greens.  Cook the onions in 1 T. olive oil until soft and beginning to brown, then add the beet greens and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Slice 1/2 lb. of summer squash thinly.  Cut the squash slices into ribbons.  Toss in a bowl with the hot beet greens and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Dress with 1 T. balsamic vinegar or fresh squeezed orange juice, 1 T. olive oil, salt and pepper.

Serve the salad topped with crumbled goat chevre or feta cheese and the roasted beet slices.

BEETS WITH HORSERADISH CREME FRAICHE

From Christian Shaffer. Los Angeles Times

About 1 pound of beets, quartered if large

1 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar (or balsamic)

3 tbs good-quality olive oil

1/4 teaspoon toasted ground coriander seeds

1 small shallot, minced

1/2 cup creme fraiche—see note below on how to make creme fraiche

1 tablespoons prepared horseradish

1 tablespoons kosher salt, divided

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoons fresh chervil or parsley, whole leaves or rough chopped (summer savory is a good substitute)

1. Boil the beets in enough water to cover, with 1 tablespoon salt, until tender, about an hour.

2. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, coriander and shallot and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes. In another bowl, combine the creme fraiche, horseradish, one-quarter teaspoon salt and pepper and set aside.

3. Drain the beets and, while still warm, peel them. Slice them into wedges, about 8 to 10 per beet, and cool.

4. Pour the vinegar mixture over the beets and let stand, covered, at room temperature for an hour. Spoon the horseradish cream onto a platter, covering the bottom. Using a slotted spoon, mound the beets over the cream. Garnish the beets with the chervil and serve.

Note: CREME FRAICHE is a lot like sour cream, but better. You can buy it in cartons, but it’s pricey; it’s easy to make and I think the homemade version is better.

Instructions from Epicurious: Combine 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature (about 70°F) from 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick. Stir well before covering and refrigerate up to 10 days.

I know—leaving the cream outside the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours sounds wrong. But it doesn’t go bad, it gets better.

WARM BEETS AND GREENS (adapted from EATING WELL)

8 cups greens (chard, kale, collard, mizuna, 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 cookbook—and simplified.

About 1 cup cooked beets, cut into wedges

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

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

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

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.

SUMMER SQUASH ANGEL HAIR

Serves 2

4 ounces angel hair pasta

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 small onion

2 garlic cloves, pressed

2 medium summer squash or zucchini, grated

salt

pinch cayenne pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to the boil.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, 5-10 minutes. Put in the pinch of cayenne pepper and of salt to taste, then add the grated zucchini and the garlic and cook over medium heat until reduced, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with pepper and a little more salt and turn the heat to low.

When the water is boiling, add a teaspoon of salt and the angel hair and cook according to package directions (angel hair cooks quite quickly – it will take only 2-3 minutes). Drain, reserving 1/3 cup of pasta water.

Add the angel hair and pasta water to the summer squash and turn the heat to high. Let the whole thing reduce, then scoop into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the cheese. Serve immediately.

SUMMER SAVORY

Though its 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 or salad dressings. It’s great in any vegetable dish that calls for thyme—just cut the quantity in half.

THINGS TO DO WITH SUMMER SAVORY

–Mash into potatoes; add to tomato sauces; mix into omelettes.

–Sprinkle into any bean dishes; it’s known as the “bean herb”

–Use in any braised vegetable dish, such as the braised kale and beans above

-Make herb butter: chop leaves into small pieces. Combine with softened butter; roll into a log and refrigerate until firm. Spread on bread or rolls.

–Three Onion-and-Summer Savory Vinaigrette, from The Cook and the Gardener, Amanda Hesser

Combine:

1/2 cup standard vinaigrette

1 shallot or small onion, minced

1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped (or garlicscape)

1 scallion, thinly sliced

1 T freshly chopped summer savory leaves



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