Jul
18
    
Posted (Lori) in News

SUMMER VEGETABLE STRATA

By Joanne Smart Fine Cooking Issue 40

Servings: four to six.

Be sure to brown the squash for the best flavor.

Alison wrote: Here’s a recipe with summer squash I tried this morning and it was delicious:

Ingredients

About a dozen 1/2-inch-thick slices French or Italian bread (enough to cover the bottom of your pan), day-old or lightly toasted

1 clove garlic, lightly crushed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups milk or a mixture of milk and cream

5 large eggs

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided

Pinch dried red pepper flakes

1 loosely packed cup basil leaves, chopped

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 medium summer squash or zucchini, or 1 of each

2 ripe tomatoes

Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter an 8×8-inch baking dish. Rub the top of each slice of bread with the garlic clove. Lay the slices in the dish in one layer, cutting them into pieces where necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

Measure the milk in a 1-qt. measure, preferably one with a spout. (Or measure it and transfer it to a bowl.) Add the eggs, half of the cheese, the red pepper flakes, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously to beat the eggs and to combine. Add the basil and stir gently. Set aside.

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium high. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens and colors lightly, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, trim the squash, cut them lengthwise into quarters and, holding the quarters together, slice them into pieces about 1/3 inch thick. Stir the squash into the onion, spread in a single layer, and let sit undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes to encourage browning; check before you turn them.

Meanwhile, halve and seed the tomatoes and chop the flesh coarsely. When the squash is lightly browned on both sides and crisp-tender, add the tomatoes, stir to toss, and take the vegetables off the heat.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to the dish, spreading them evenly over the bread. Give the milk and egg mixture a stir and gently pour it all into the dish. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the milk and egg mixture sets, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool at least 5 minutes, slice into squares with the edge of a spatula, and use the spatula to lift out the pieces.

Anastasia wrote: After last week’s delivery of fennel, I started searching for recipes to use up the fronds, and tried this wonderful and simple risotto and steamed salmon recipe on the Cheese Traveler blog.

GARLIC SCAPE, SNAP PEA, AND FENNEL RISOTTO

https://thecheesetraveler.com/tag/maggies-round/

2 tbsp butter

4-6 garlic scapes

1 small onion

splash of sherry vinegar

1 cp Arborio rice

1 cp pearled barley

1 qt stock (vegetable or chicken)

1 cp Pino Grigio wine

1 cp fresh snap peas

¼ cp chopped fennel fronds

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp paprika

2 oz. gruyuere, diced (optional)

Melt butter in a pan on medium heat. Heat stock in a separate pan and keep covered on low heat. Cut scapes and onion into butter and sauté until onions are semi-transparent. Add a splash of sherry vinegar (or similar light wine or rice vinegar). Add rice and barley and sauté in the butter for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine, and when absorbed, begin adding the warm stock, one half cup at a time as the rice adsorbs the liquid, stirring often if not constantly. When the rice and barley begin to plump, add paprika and salt, snap peas and fennel fronds. To test the rice, bite through a single grain and check that there is no uncooked (white) spot in the center. Once fully cooked, remove from heat and stir in diced gruyere until evenly melted.

STEAMED FENNEL SALMON WITH COLLARDS AND KALE

https://thecheesetraveler.com/tag/maggies-round/

Fennel fronds and thick greens make a wonderful base for cooking fish, and the flavor of fennel pairs particularly well with salmon. This recipe steams the fish over a bed of greens, and the fish soaks up the flavors as the steam rises.

1-1/2 lbs fresh salmon

2cps fennel fronds coarsely chopped

4 large collard leaves cut in thick strips

4 Red Russian kale leaves coarsely chopped (optional. If not using, just double the collards, or substitute beet greens)

juice of ½ lemon

a splash of rice or sherry vinegar

fresh or dried oregano

olive oil

salt and pepper

Use a dutch oven or similarly large, heavy pot with lid on the stove top. Heat the pot to medium to low. Line the bottom of the pot with the cut fennel fronds, collards, and kale (if using). Gently place the salmon on top of the greens. Juice the ½ lemon on the salmon. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to moisten the salmon and greens, sprinkle oregano, salt and pepper on top of the salmon. Cook on a low heat, with the lid shut to steam the salmon. The moisture released from the greens will protect the salmon from burning. Cook until the fish is pink and flakes.

RATATOUILLE

from acleanbake.com.

Jill made ratatouille this week with the eggplant and zucchini. We’re going to post several ratatouille recipes when we start getting peppers and tomatoes—but this one is a little different—and a lot of us are ready to make ratatouille with what we have. Thyme can be substituted for the herbes de Provence (mixed with rosemary and oregano to be most authentic, but ok with just the thyme), especially if you’re not a big fan of lavender as a cooking ingredient. If you still have rosemary and basil from our seedlings, use those too (my basil is thriving, but I have to admit that I killed my rosemary).

Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

1 cup crushed tomatoes

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 Tablespoon fresh basil about 3-4 large leaves, sliced , plus more for garnish

1 teaspoon herbs de Provence spice mix

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 medium sweet or red onion sliced

1 large zucchini about 1 1/2 cups slices, sliced

1 large Japanese eggplant about 3 cups slices, sliced

3 large roma tomatoes about 3 cups slices, sliced

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 6″x9″ baking dish and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the crushed tomatoes, oil and vinegar. Stir in the garlic, basil, herbs de Provence, salt, pepper, and chili powder.

Pour the tomato mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth it into an even layer on the bottom of the pan.

Stack the veggie slices in alternating patters (e.g.: onion, zucchini, eggplant, tomato; repeat) and place them on their side in the pan, leaning against the edge of the pan. Repeat until you’ve formed a couple of rows of veggies, filled the pan, and used up all of the veggie slices.

Optionally, spray or brush the exposed tops of the veggies with oil to encourage browning in the oven. This is more for appearance, so feel free to skip this step if you want.

Bake for about an hour, until the tomato sauce at the bottom is bubbling and the veggies are tender.

Garnish with additional chopped fresh basil before serving (optional). Serve hot or cold.

Recipe Notes

The vegetables, including the crushed tomatoes, take center stage in this dish and there is relatively little in the ingredient list to season them, so flavor is very important. Try to get the absolute best quality vegetables you can. It really is worth the splurge, and will take this dish from good to great.

Some people have cautioned that Herbs de Provence contains a little bit of Lavender, so if you are especially sensitive to that flavor, replace the herbs de Provence with a heaping 1/4 teaspoon each: dried or fresh rosemary, oregano and thyme.



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