Aug
08
    
Posted (Lori) in News

First: Tomatoes don’t belong in the refrigerator. An explanation (from qz.com): A vine-ripened tomato’s subtly musky flavor—that slight earthiness that makes a tomato slice such a genius component in a BLT—comes from an enzymatic reaction that produces sulfuric aromas, according to Harold McGee‘s scientific food reference book On Food and Cooking. And although those sulfuric aromas are what can make a rotten tomato smell so pungently foul, we should really resist the urge to refrigerate them.

McGee writes that tomatoes originally came from a warm place—the deserts of South America’s west coast—and therefore shouldn’t be stored at arctic temperatures. A tomato subjected to a refrigerator’s cold climate stops producing its aroma-making enzymes and starts to lose its flavor. And while refrigeration evangelists would be right to say that a little bit of that flavor can seep back if the tomatoes return to room temp, you’re likely to end up with a weak-flavored, mealy tomato—especially if it wasn’t fully ripened before it went in the fridge.

If you can’t eat your tomatoes before they rot, there are wonderful ways to save them for later.

SAVING TOMATOES

There’s a limit to how many fresh tomatoes we can eat and some of us will be bumping up against it pretty soon. 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, but try to keep them to a uniform size. 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

Choose 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


 
Aug
08
    
Posted (Lori) in News

FERMENTING

Thank you, Anjali, for putting together this amazingly clear recipe and set of instructions. I’m going to try this today. If it works for me—I am going to do it without the special equipment and I’m not sure if my cool, dry, dark place is cool, dry, and dark enough—I’ll bring some to taste next week.

CARROT, GINGER AND CHILI KRAUT

This is a delicious take on sauerkraut.  The added ginger and chilies make for an asian inspired kraut.  You can use this kraut in many ways.  Here are some ideas:

  • Add a couple tablespoons to a simple green salad
  • Add it to your sandwich to give a crunchy vinegary kick
  • Have it as a side to your eggs

I never thought I liked kraut, but this one is different.  It has so much flavor, and brings out a new dimension to salads, sandwiches and your eggs!

Key to fermentation

Submerge in brine and all will be fine!

This simple line is all your to need to remember to keep your ferments safe.  Submerge the vegetables in brine because good bacteria don’t need oxygen.  Bad bacteria do, however, so always keep the vegetables submerged well under the brine.

Ingredients needed:

  • ½ red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 3 large carrots, coarsely grated
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chilies
  • 3% sea salt by weight

Tools needed

  • 1 clean 1 quart wide mouth mason jar
  • Primary follower – outer leaf of cabbage (this forms a protective layer over the vegetables)
  • Weight – This helps to weigh down the vegetables and keep them submerged under the brine. There are two options:
    • Glass weight – I buy these (see link below) – they are made for wide mouth mason jars for this purpose: https://www.amazon.com/Sauer-Stones-Fermentation-Preservation-Pickling/dp/B01GVSHK8O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501939911&sr=8-1&keywords=glass+weights+for+fermenting
    • Or you can use the ziplock method.  Open a quart sized ziploc and place it in the jar on top of the vegetables (and after the outer leaf of cabbage).  To add weight, fill the bag with water until there are no more air pockets.  Then seal the bag
  • Covering – there are two options:
    • Drape the jar with a cheesecloth, muslin, a kitchen towel
    • Airlock lids.  I use these (see link below) – they make fermenting fool proof: https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Fermenter-Wide-Mouth-Lid/dp/B01M73T3ZH/ref=sr_1_5?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1501942807&sr=1-5&keywords=fermenting+lids

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients and weigh them.  Add 3% salt.  So for example, if the mixture weighs 500g, add 15g salt.  Make sure to use good quality sea salt with no additives
  2. Work in the salt with your hands and massage for a few minutes.  The key is to get the vegetables to release brine (salted water)
  3. Let the vegetables rest for 20 minutes
  4. Massage more, and more brine will be released from the vegetables
  5. Press the vegetables firmly into the  jar, pressing out air pockets, and allowing the brine to rise to the top above the vegetables.  Ensure there are 3 inches headspace left between the brine and the top of the jar
  6. Place the primary follower, a large cabbage leaf, on top of the vegetables
  7. Add the weight (see above)
  8. Add a covering (see above).  The covering should allow carbon dioxide that is released during fermentation to escape
  9. Set aside in a cool, dark place.  Ideal fermentation temperature is between 55-75F
  10. Check everyday to make sure the vegetables are submerged, pressing down as needed to bring the brine back to the surface
  11. You may see scum on top – its generally harmless, but if you see white mold, scoop it out.  The ferment is still safe!
  12. After 5-7 days test the ferment.  It is ready when the smell is sour, touch is firm to soft but not slimy, and taste is pleasingly sour and pickly but not too vinegary
  13. When ready, add a lid and put in the refrigerator and enjoy.  It should last at least 6 months if not longer

 
Aug
07
    
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.

Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad
Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables
Serves 6
1 pound green beans, though if you can find a mix of green and yellow beans, it will be all the prettier
1 pound cherry tomatoes
1 large shallot
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Basil or other herb (optional)
Prepare the vegetables: Top and tail the beans and cut them into large segments. Parboil the beans in salted water until just tender, about four to five minutes. Drain and immediately spread them out to cool. Stem the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half.
Make the vinaigrette: Peel and mince the shallot and put it in a bowl with the vinegar and salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the balance with more vinegar, oil, or salt, as needed. Toss the cherry tomatoes in with the vinaigrette; this can sit for a while. Do not add the green beans until just before serving or they will discolor from the acid in the vinaigrette. For variety, the salad can be garnished with basil or some other fresh herb such as parsley, chervil or hyssop.
Do ahead: Beans and vegetables can be prepared ahead of time. Simply toss with the dressing only at the last minute, as it can discolor the green beans after several hours.

GREEN BEAN AND CHERRY TOMATO SALAD

From the Smitten Kitchen; Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables

Serves 6

1 pound green beans, though if you can find a mix of green and yellow beans, it will be all the prettier

1 pound cherry tomatoes

1 large shallot

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Basil or other herb (optional)

Prepare the vegetables: Top and tail the beans and cut them into large segments. Parboil the beans in salted water until just tender, about four to five minutes. Drain and immediately spread them out to cool. Stem the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half.

Make the vinaigrette: Peel and mince the shallot and put it in a bowl with the vinegar and salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the balance with more vinegar, oil, or salt, as needed. Toss the cherry tomatoes in with the vinaigrette; this can sit for a while. Do not add the green beans until just before serving or they will discolor from the acid in the vinaigrette. For variety, the salad can be garnished with basil or some other fresh herb such as parsley, chervil or hyssop.

Do ahead: Beans and vegetables can be prepared ahead of time. Simply toss with the dressing only at the last minute, as it can discolor the green beans after several hours.

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, whatever 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
07
    
Posted (Lori) in News

Some of my favorite recipes in the world feature fresh tomatoes. Here are a few of them. Next week: gazpachos.

SUMMER VEGETABLE AND SOURDOUGH PANZANELLA

From Michael Romano, Union Square Restaurant

Makes  8 servings

1 pound sourdough or whole wheat peasant bread

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 bell peppers

4 ripe tomatoes, split crosswise, squeezed to remove seeds and juice, and diced

1/2 cup peeled and thinly sliced celery

1/2 cup trimmed and thinly sliced fennel

1 cup peeled, split, and thinly sliced red onion

1/3 cup pitted Gaeta or Nicoise olives, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup washed, dried and sliced basil leaves

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Italian red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

–Cut the bread into 3/4-inch cubes.  Sauté the bread cubes in 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium high heat until evenly golden and crispy. Drain and set aside.            

–Preheat the broiler. Cook the peppers under the broiler, turning them from side to side, until their skins blacken. Place the charred peppers in a covered container or paper bag until cool. Remove the skins by rubbing the peppers with a paper towel or by peeling them with a small knife.  Discard the seeds. (To avoid losing flavor, never peel roasted peppers under running water!)  Cut the flesh into 3/4-inch dice and set aside.

–Combine the toasted bread cubes with the peppers, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onion, olives, basil, and pine nuts.  Season with the remaining olive oil, balsamic and red wine vinegars, salt and pepper, and continue to mix well.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving so that the bread can absorb some of the oil and vinegar. Serve.

MATBUCHA

I just finished a book about Jewish cooking and spent a lot of time talking about Sephardic food (with Spanish and North African influences) with my Sephardi relatives. They all seemed to think that everyone knew about Matbucha, but I had never heard of it. It’s a winner—easy, low-calorie, spicy, and packed with garlic and tomato flavor

Makes 1 cup

–¼ cup olive oil

–6 large garlic cloves, minced

1 small hot pepper, diced (remove all or most of the seeds depending on how hot you want the final product to be)

–1 small bell pepper, diced (optional)

–2 pounds tomatoes, peeled (if you wish), seeded and diced

–Salt to taste

–Cayenne pepper (optional)

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic and hot pepper and sauté over medium heat until they are very soft. Add the minced bell pepper (if you are using) and the tomatoes and sauté until they begin to lose their shape. Reduce to low heat, add ¼ teaspoon salt, and simmer until thickened; watch it carefully and stir frequently if not constantly. Cook for at least 15 minutes, more if you have patience. Taste, adjust salt, and if it not spicy enough, add cayenne pepper. Serve hot or cold with bread, vegetables, over anything, or on its own.

PANNA COTTA WITH TOMATO SALAD

I got this recipe from a chef in Texas for a book I was working on years ago. I thought it was a silly recipe when I first saw it—why add cream to perfectly good goat cheese? But the final product is astonishingly creamy and delicious. It’s what I make when I want to impress people but have no time to cook right before the meal. It requires 10 minutes of prep time the night before, 15 minutes right before it’s served—a perfect first course.

For the Panna Cotta

Oil for coating molds

1 tablespoon cold water

1 teaspoon powdered unflavored gelatin

8 ounces heavy cream

4 ounces goat cheese

½ teaspoon salt

For the Tomato Salad

About 1 pound tomatoes—all sizes, shapes, colors

½ cup chopped basil; reserve 6 perfect leaves or sprigs

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup toasted almonds

edible flowers (nasturtiums, pansies, marigolds)—optional, but very pretty

–-Prepare molds for the panna cotta; 3-ounce bowls or ramekins work well, as do espresso cups. I use silicone cupcake holders—they make a decorative fluted edge and release the panna cotta without any trouble. Oil them well, with your misto or by rubbing oil on the bottom and sides.

–-Put the water in a very small dish; sprinkle in the gelatin and mix well. Set aside to allow the gelatin to soften.

–-Heat the cream in a small pot until just below boiling; it takes only a couple of minutes. Turn heat to low. Add the softened gelatin and whisk until fully dissolved and smooth—you don’t want undissolved gelatin. Crumble in the goat cheese and keep stirring for a few minutes until everything is perfectly smooth.

-–Divide the mixture among your prepared molds; you have 12 ounces of mixture here, so use about 2 ounces per mold. Cover with waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

–About 15 minutes before serving, remove the molds from the refrigerator.

–Dice the tomatoes. Put the basil, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small jar with a lid and shake well. Pour the dressing over the tomatoes and toss.

-–Divide the nuts on six small plates

–-Unmold the panna cotta. Carefully run a knife around the edge—you want to keep the edges intact for a smooth look, but let’s not get crazy about it. Invert the mold over the almonds on each plate; with any luck, it will release easily. If not, fill a shallow bowl with hot water; put the molds in the bowl so that the sides get warm, without letting water touch the panna cotta. Invert again. Sooner or later, they will come out, though you may have to use the knife again and ruin the smooth edges just a little. (The silicone cupcake holders avoid all this.)

-–Spoon the tomato salad over and around the panna cotta. Garnish with a sprig of basil, and edible flowers if you have them.

CORN AND CHERRY TOMATO QUICHE

From Joanneeatswellwithothers.com

Joanne was a member a few years ago; her food blog has lots of great recipes, especially this one. It uses lots of butter and cream—not for every day, but really spectacular.

Yield: 1 10-inch quiche

For the pie crust

2 cups all purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

½ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp kosher salt

1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

¼ cup cold water

For the quiche

4 tbsp olive oil

1¼ cups fresh corn

1½ tsp kosher salt

1 garlic clove

2 cups cherry tomatoes

1 pinch red pepper flakes

3 large eggs

¾ cup + 2 tbsp creme fraiche

¾ cup + 2 tbsp heavy cream

¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper

2-3 tbsp parmesan cheese

Instructions

–In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to blend. add the butter and pulse 3 times or until pea-size pieces form. Pour the water into the bowl and pulse another three times until the dough just starts to come together.

–Dump the dough onto a clean work surface and gather it together by hand, kneading slightly until just starting to hold together. Press the dough into a ¾-inch thick disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

–Roll the dough into a 15-inch square. Gently transfer to a greased 10-inch tart pan, allowing the edges to drape over the sides. Gently press into the pan, making sure to get it into all the corners. Trim any excess dough. Freeze for at least 1 hour.

–Heat oven to 350F.

–Line the inside of the frozen shell with parchment paper and then fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 35 minutes, until the outer edge starts to brown. Remove the parchment and pie weights and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

–Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add the corn and ¼ tsp salt. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

–Add the remaining olive oil, then saute the garlic for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, ½ tsp salt, and the chile flakes. Raise the heat to high and cook, covered, for 3 minutes or until the tomatoes start to burst. Remove the lid and continue cooking, allowing to thicken for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes to a plate.

–Increase the oven to 450F.

–In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, creme fraiche, cream, remaining ¾ tsp salt, and the black pepper.

–Sprinkle the corn over the bottom of the cooked shell. Top with the cooked tomatoes. Pour the egg mixture over the top, making sure it doesn’t spill over the edge. Top with the parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until set and golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

Adapted slightly from Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes From Our Kitchen

VEGETABLE KORMA

FROM LIPICA:

“This is my family’s recipe for Vegetable Korma, a vegetarian Indian dish that’s endlessly adaptable. Enjoy!’

Ingredients

1/4 cup cashew halves or almond slices

1/4 cup boiling water

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch peeled ginger root, minced

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 bay leaves

1 large onion, diced

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric powder

1/4-1 tsp chili powder (optional)

1 tsp garam masala (optional)

chopped vegetables (any kind you want, just make sure they’re all chopped to roughly the same size)

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup heavy cream (I’ve also used coconut milk or almond milk)

1/2 cup plain yogurt (soy yogurt works well too)

Korma Directions

1) place nuts in a small bowl, pour boiling water over them, set aside

2) heat oil in a large pan over medium heat, crumble the bay leaves into the oil and sauté for 30 seconds

3) stir in the onion- cook til soft

4) stir in the garlic and ginger and all the spices, sauté for 30 seconds

5) add in all the vegetables and stir til they’re all coated with the spice blend and have softened a bit (about 5 minutes)

6) add in the tomato paste and broth, cover, reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes (stirring occasionally)

7) while the mix is simmering, add the heavy cream and yogurt to the nut/water mix, mix til smooth

8. Stir the nut/cream mixture into the pot, simmer an additional 15 minutes or until the whole dish thickens a bit.

Enjoy!

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 that way, 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 with at least one egg in each 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


 
Aug
01
    
Posted (Lori) in News

CELERY

The first time we got celery in our shares, I pooh-poohed it. The celery we get from Stoneledge is not the kind we see in the supermarket, with giant stalks. And in past years, our celery has been flavorful, but stringy, leafy, and with small ribs. But the celery we’ve  received in the last few years has been great, big and juicy and perfect for all kinds of recipes as well as stock (though still not the supermarket kind). And we’re getting it again this week. Mark Bittman provided a comprehensive guide to using celery a few years ago:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/magazine/sixteen-reasons-to-take-celery-seriously.html?_r=0

His interactive recipe guide is here:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/04/15/magazine/celery-recipes.html?ref=magazine

Celery and Parmesan Salad
48 Reviews
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Show: Barefoot Contessa
Episode: Italian at Home
SAVE RECIPE PRINT
Recipe Video
Celery Salad & Lemon Dressing (03:00)
Total:2 hr 15 minActive: 15 min
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Level: Easy
Ingredients
1/2 cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cups thinly sliced celery hearts, tender leaves included, sliced on an angle (about 12 stalks)
4-ounce chunk aged Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
Whole flat-leaf parsley leaves
ADD CHECKED ITEMS TO GROCERY LIST
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe.
At least 1 hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, the shallots, celery seed, celery salt, anchovy paste, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place the celery in a mixing bowl and toss it with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. (Even though these ingredients are in the dressing, believe me-this step makes a difference.) Add enough dressing to moisten well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the celery to crisp and the flavors to develop.
When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a platter, shave the Parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler, then sprinkle with walnuts, parsley leaves, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.
2010, Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?, All Rights Reserved

Celery Salad From Lee’at:

There’s a celery salad I like to make that’s super easy:

Slice stalks of celery thinly and chop and use the leaves too. Mix together about equal parts of olive oil and lemon juice. Add in mustard (the condiment, not seeds or powder), salt, and pepper. Pour over celery and toss. (I will admit that I usually don’t even mix the dressing ingredients together first – just pour them over the celery and toss. One less dirty dish that way).

CELERY & PARMESAN SALAD

1/2 cup good olive oil

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)

2 tablespoons minced shallots

1 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 cups thinly sliced celery hearts, tender leaves included, sliced on an angle (about 12 stalks)

4-ounce chunk aged Parmesan cheese

2/3 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

Whole flat-leaf parsley leaves

Directions

At least 1 hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, the shallots, celery seed, celery salt, anchovy paste, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place the celery in a mixing bowl and toss it with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. (Even though these ingredients are in the dressing, believe me-this step makes a difference.) Add enough dressing to moisten well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the celery to crisp and the flavors to develop.

When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a platter, shave the Parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler, then sprinkle with walnuts, parsley leaves, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.

2010, Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?, All Rights Reserved

LACTO-FERMENTED CELERY

http://naturallivingsocal.blogspot.com/2012/04/cultured-mondays-pickled-lacto.html

This recipe is very easy.  Here is what you need:

* One 6 cup or two quart sized glass canning jars

* Four stalks, plus a few pieces of the heart cut into 3-4 inch sticks; can include a few leaves if you like

* One small head of garlic

* Two sprigs of rosemary and a few sage leaves or fresh herbs of choice; or none at all

* Four tablespoons of pink or sea salt

* Two tablespoons of whey (see note)

* Around 5 cups of filtered water

Wash your celery, garlic (skins off), and herbs thoroughly, cutting off any damaged or brown pieces.  Cut your celery into 3-4 inch stick sized pieces.  Take each piece of garlic and cut in half any large pieces, then lightly crush each clove.  Add all your vegetables and herbs to your jar along with your salt and whey.  Then add your filtered water.

Give the jar a few shakes to help distribute the salt and whey throughout the water.  Set in a dry, dark place (a kitchen cabinet is fine) and allow to sit for about a week (if very warm, then check after 4-5 days, but if cooler, then it will probably need a week, as the ideal fermenting temperature is around 70 degrees).  Once your celery is done fermenting, move to the refrigerator.

(Featured on Healthy Home Economist, Homestead Revival, Real Food Forager, Cooking Traditional Foods, The Nourishing Gourmet, GNOWFLGINS, Food Renegade, Real Food Freaks)

NOTE: From wellness mama.com

Whey and Cream Cheese Recipe

prep 5 mins

total 5 mins

author wellness mama

yield 4 +

How to make whey for fermenting vegetables and other foods and get probiotic cream cheese!

Ingredients

  • One 32-ounce container of full fat organic PLAIN yogurt
  • Cheesecloth or thin dish towel
  • medium-size bowl
  • string or rubber bands

Instructions

  1. Pour the yogurt into cheesecloth or thin towel. You can pour the whole container, or just use half if you don’t need much whey. Make sure the towel is thin, as it will absorb too much of the whey if it is a very absorbent towel.
  2. Pull the ends of the towel up and secure with string or a rubber band.
  3. Tie the towel with yogurt in it to a cabinet handle above the bowl.
  4. Leave it alone overnight to drip.
  5. In the morning, if the dripping has stopped, pour the liquid in the bowl (this is the whey… yay!) into a glass jar and store in the fridge for up to six months.
  6. The “yogurt” left in the towel is actually cream cheese now. Put in its own container and use as you would store bought cream cheese.
  7. Use the whey for homemade salsas, sauerkraut, fermented veggies or pickles and more. (all recipes to come soon…. just waiting on the garden to start producing!)

courses fermented