After being out of town for several days, I’ve found an overabundance of ripe tomatoes in my personal garden. In other words, I better get busy canning or get busy cooking. This week, Heidi at the farm sent me home with a wonderful mix of goodies this week, including that delightfully fragrant basil which was a perfect mix with our family’s tomato harvest. Whether you grow your own tomatoes or have recently bought some at the local market, this recipe is quite delicious and simple; Highlighting the vibrant flavors of summer. In place of the black plum tomatoes listed below, you can swap them out for a Roma tomato or any other small variety. Enjoy!
Peeling your tomatoes - Bring a large pot of water to boil. Have a separate large bowl of ice water nearby. Cut a little X on the bottom of each of your tomatoes (this will help the peeling process along). Add 6-8 tomatoes to the pot at a time and allow to boil for about 15 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and place them into the ice water. The skin should slide right off but if it's being a bit stubborn, use the end of a paring knife to help ease it off. Cut each of the tomatoes in half and use your finger to remove the seeds.
In a large saute pan (large enough to fit all of your pasta at the end) add your olive oil and heat on medium. Add your tomatoes, red wine and a pinch of salt. Allow to cook until soft and tender. With a potato masher, smoosh your tomatoes. Stirring occasionally, continue to cook for about 20 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.
In a separate large pot, add 1 tablespoon of salt to boiling water. Cook your spaghetti until its just SHY of being al dente. Strain the pasta reserving a little bit of the pasta water. Add the cooked spaghetti to your pasta sauce, gently tossing and mixing the noodles. Continue to cook on medium heat for 5 minutes - if your sauce seems a little too thick, add 1 tablespoon of the reserved pasta water at a time.
Remove from heat and add your basil, butter and Parmesan cheese. Gently toss the pasta, blending well allowing the butter to melt and cote the noodles. Serve immediately.
What the heck is a kholrabi? If this odd little veggie is new to you, it tastes a lot like a cross between a broccoli stem and a radish. It can be eaten raw, steamed or cooked and its quite delicious despite it’s odd alien-like shape. Before eating, it’s important to peel it thoroughly. Beneath it’s thick, hard skin is yet another fibrous layer, which should be peeled away as well. The recipe below is great fried but can also be baked in the oven (400 degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden brown) for a healthier alternative.
Remove leaves from the kohlrabi and peel the bulb. Peel your potatoes and carrots. Grate the vegetables in a food processor or by hand using a grater. Squeeze the shredded vegetables in a tea cloth (or with your hands) to remove moisture. Finely mince your onion and add to mixture.
In a separate bowl, add the eggs be beat until frothy. Add to your grated mixture along with your flour, curry, salt and chopped chard or kale.
Place 3/4 cup oil in a large skillet (or enough to have 1/4 inch depth). Heat the oil over medium high heat and place small hand pressed patties of the fritter mixture into the hot oil. Fry on one side until browned, then fry on the other side. Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil.
In a separate bowl, stir sour cream with finely minced cilantro, salt and cayenne pepper. Squeeze 1/2 lime into the mix and serve with your fritters. Top with sliced radishes and green onions.
Over an open flame or in the broiler, roast your bell peppers until the skin turns black. Remove from heat, peel and julienne.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil and chopped onions. Cook for about 10 minutes or until your onions are clear and have a slight golden colour.
Split your chicken breasts and coat generously with smoked paprika, dried basil, salt and pepper. Add to saute pan and sear on both sides for about 5 minutes or until browned.
Add roasted bell peppers, white wine and garlic. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes.
Once the chicken has cooked through and is tender, remove your chicken from the sauce and place in a bowl. Add butter to the saute pan and continue cooking the remaining sauce in the for another 15 minutes on medium heat until it has reduced by half.
Chiffonade your spinach and add to the pan along with the chicken in the reduced sauce for about 3 minutes on low. Add salt to taste and serve alone or over pasta.
Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double-beatloaf. I hate meatloaf. We’ve all had our remarkably awful memories of a family members dry and dreadful meatloaf. Admittedly, it took some time for me to hop on the meatloaf wagon due to severe childhood scarring. Meatloaf can really be delicious… if prepared properly. I decided to make an alternative recipe with the overabundance of leeks that I’ve had in my possession as of late. Secondly, I’ve discovered that large amounts of garlic intake and feeding a newborn baby does not go well together and results in a very gassy baby. What does that mean? I’ve had to find a way to replace my love for garlic in MANY of my recipes (sigh). The answer was LEEKS! One day I’ll be able to reintroduce garlic back into my diet but leeks will do for now. You can always add garlic to the recipe below and feel sorry for me later.
The key to keeping your meatloaf from tasting like the Sahara is to COOK your vegetables before adding them to your meat mixture and allowing them to cool. The addition of a little milk to your breadcrumbs will result in a very juicy, memorable (in a good way) meatloaf. I topped this one off with some homemade curry ketchup (you can find a great recipe here) or use some of your favorite bottled kind from the European market.
Clean and thinly slice your leek. Finely mince the onion, celery, bell peppers, celery and shred your carrots.
In a saute pan over low-medium heat, add your olive oil, the chopped and shredded veggies and red wine. Add fresh thyme, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes until onions are translucent. Stir frequently. Set aside and allow to COOL.
In a small bowl, add your bread crumbs and milk. Allow to soak for a few minutes.
In a separate large bowl, whisk your egg until frothy. Add your meat, cooked veggie mixture, soaked breadcrumbs and fresh chopped parsley. With clean hands, mix all of the ingredients together.
In a large baking pan, lightly oil the bottom and add the meat mix forming it into (you guessed it) a loaf!
Mix the honey and curry ketchup in a small dish and coat the top of your loaf with appx 1/4 cup.
Cover with foil and bake in the oven for appx 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and add another 1/4 cup of ketchup to the top of it. Place your loaf back into the oven and cook for another 15 minutes.
Slice and serve with the remaining sauce along with some mashed potatoes and your favorite veggies! (We chose beets)
As you can tell, I have a surplus of leeks! Not that I’m complaining, I mean… I LOVE LEEKS. This recipe included the spinach from your recent CSA box as well as those leeks (of course). In order to make the quiche, we needed cheese. The fresh rosemary garlic sheep cheese from Black Sheep Creamery was a perfect match for this little dish. Who says real men don’t eat quiche?
Place pie crust on a baking sheet and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Set crust aside and reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
In a small pan, heat butter and chopped leaks over low/medium heat for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, salt, pepper and cooked leeks.
Spread spinach in bottom of crust and dot with sheep cheese. (we used Black Sheep's Rosemary Garlic Cheese but you can substitute goat cheese) Pour egg mixture on top and bake until poofed in the center and lightly browned. This should take 40 to 50 minutes.
Set aside to cool until warm or serve at room temperature.
Potatoes and leeks go too well with each other to not make another recipe that highlights them. My husband grew up in Germany as a kid and a lot of the treats from the winter CSA shares scream to made into something German. Today we have what is called, Kartoffelpuffer Mit Apfelmus. I swapped out the traditional inclusion of onions with leeks since I had a few laying around from the recent CSA share. Frankly, I enjoy leeks far better than onions but you can easily switch the recipe around if you feel so inclined.
In a small sauce pan, add apples, juice, lemon and cinnamon. On medium heat, cook for about 15 minutes until apples become soft and mushy.
Add apples from pan into a food processor and puree until smooth. Add sugar to taste.
Remove the outer layer and cut your leeks in half, lengthwise. Rinse each of them by pulling apart all of the layers under cold water. Cut the light colored part of your leek into into 1/16 inch thin slices. Use a mandolin or a knife for this. (your choice)
In a small fry pan, add your leek slices and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes until leeks are caramelized and golden. Set aside.
Peel and grate your potatoes and add to a bowl of cold water with the lemon juice. This will help remove some of the starch from the taters and keep them from turning brown.
Strain the potatoes and press as much liquid out as you can.
In another bowl, whisk the egg, flower, baking powder and salt. Add the potatoes, leeks and mix well.
In a medium sized fry pan, add 1/2 cup of oil (or more if needed - try to get your oil about 1/4 inch high) Drop 1/4 cup of potato mixture into the hot oil and press down. Heat until golden brown on each side.
Every time I open a box of goodies from the farm I feel like I’m on an episode of Chopped. In lieu of of a 30 minute timeline, I usually wind up with some hair-brained idea in the middle of the night. Insomnia I suppose, has it’s benefits. This week’s CSA shipment had some pretty fun ingredients and the following recipe is the result of my late nights tending to a newborn baby. I do what I can and make the best of the time that I have in the wee hours of the morning.
Apples and pork go pretty hand-in-hand right along with the sage. Inside? More pork and that wonderfully colored Swiss Chard create the roulade. In layman’s terms, you pound the heck out of the meat and roll it up. It’s like one of those Little Debbie Swiss Rolls from childhood but in the form of meat. It looks fancy but is quite easy to make and is a sure fire way to impress discerning guests. I decided to pair the tenderloin with some tarragon and roasted cauliflower mashed potatoes ( click here for the recipe ) and it worked out quite well if I say so myself. Enjoy!
Chop the Swiss chard into 1" pieces, rinse and drain.
In a medium saute pan, add 4oz of pancetta to medium/low heat. Render the fat but keep the heat low enough to avoid burning. This should take less than 10 minutes.
Add the Swiss chard to the pan, stirring and coating evenly with the rendered fat.
Continue to stir and cook on low heat until you've wilted it down. This should take around 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Slice pork lengthwise, but not all the way through, other side. Open halves, laying pork flat. Place plastic wrap over pork and pound to an even thickness using a meat mallet. Sprinkle evenly on both sides with salt. Spread apple mixture on pork and roll it up.
On the outside of the rolled tenderloin, rub generously with the sage and coat on all sides. Add the meat to a lighly oiled pan. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 145°.
In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat.
Peal and thinly slice your shallots (I used onions in the photo since I was all out of shallots - you can do the same if you feel so inclined) Add to the pan and cook until soft.
Slice and quarter your apples into 1/4" pieces. Add to the pan with the apple cider vinegar, sherry, salt and pepper. Cook apples until soft but still firm.
Remove apples from the pan and set aside. Reserve the liquid and continue to cook the liquid until reduced by more than half.
Remove your meat from the oven and allow to REST for at least 5 minutes. Slice into 1/2 pieces and plate over the apple slices. Gently pour your cider and shallot sauce mixture over the meat and enjoy!
Pairs well with our Roasted Cauliflower and Tarragon Mashed Potatoes!
Remove leaves and cut cauliflower stem flush with the head so it can stay upright in a pie dish. Drizzle olive oil over head and sprinkle salt. pepper and smoked paprika over the florets.
Roast in the oven until tender. Appx 1 hour.
Remove from oven and serve with cheese sauce. (Recipe below)
Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles form. Do not boil!
Meanwhile, melt your butter in another saucepan over medium heat. Add your flour, stirring constantly until a thick paste forms. (2-3 minutes)
Slowly add the milk to the flour paste, whisking constantly. Continue cooking, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens for about 5 minutes.
Add your rosemary, garlic and cheese, whisking constantly until it is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with your roasted cauliflower!
With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, we’ve whipped up a little Irish dinner with some of the goodies we included in this week’s CSA share. I tend to shy away from the American beer with green food colouring and routy “Irish” themed parties. Instead, I try to honor my great-grandparents by cooking some traditional peasant food and having a nice Irish stout. Boring isn’t it?
Included in this recipe are a few items from your box. Potatoes (of course) are used along with the rutabagas, carrots and yellow onions. Traditionally, the stew would be served with lamb but due to some objections in our household we swapped it out with some local Washington pasture beef. Another spin on my usual recipe is the choice of beer. I decided to keep things local by using Iron Horse Brewery’s Irish Death. It’s a little sweeter than Guinness which pairs perfectly with the dish in my personal opinion. All of which came from the wonderfully wet state of Washington.
Our cat Jones INSISTED on being in the photo but I assure you, no kitties were harmed in the preparation of this dish. The cow on the other-hand I cannot vouch for. Prepare your mise en place (no clue how to say that in Gaelic) By cutting up your onions in large pieces. Smash and finely chop your garlic. Peel and cut your carrots and rutabagas into about 3/4 inch chunks. Scrub and remove eyes from your potatoes and large 1 inch chunks. Set aside.
Season your stew meat with 1 tbsp of salt and and 1 tsp of pepper. Once seasoned, take a few paper towels and DRY the meat really well on all sides. This will help with the searing of the meat.
In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat to medium-high and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is hot, add your meat a little at a time in batches without overcrowding the pot. Sear on each side for about 4 minutes. Add your finished meat to a separate bowl and set aside as you sear each batch.
Remove all of your meat from the stock pot and set aside. Deglaze the pot with 3/4 cup of dry red wine and lower your heat. Whisk for about 4 minutes and get all of the stuck on meat goodies stirred up.
At this point, add your onions and garlic and allow to cook until translucent and your wine has reduced and coated your onions.
Return your meat chunks back to the pot and pour in 2 1/2 cups of stout beer and 32 oz. of beef broth along with your chopped carrots, 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of caraway seeds and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and let simmer on low for 90 minutes.
After your meat and carrots have been simmering, add your potatoes, rutabagas and pearl barley. Cover and simmer on low heat for another hour. This would be a great time to start cooking your Irish Soda Bread *hint hint* (recipe link located above)
After it's been cooking, remove the lid and stir the pot. Make sure to get all of the barley that may be on the bottom. Continue to simmer UNCOVERED for another 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened and your potatoes and barley have cooked through.
Add salt and pepper to taste and chopped parsley. Stir and remove from heat and serve with Irish Soda Bread. Enjoy!
Sunchokes. Also knows as a Jerusalem Artichoke which is certainly not an artichoke nor is it from Jerusalem. Makes total sense right? Sunchokes are these strange little tubers that originate form North America and was cultivated by the Native Americans. The plant was discovered as early as 1603, when Samuel de Champlain (the same guy Lake Champlain is named after) described the root to taste like an artichoke, purportedly starting the naming confusion that has haunted the vegetable since its debut. To add to the linguistic chaos, they’re known as topinambour in Europe (which was a mispronunciation of an indigenous Brazilian tribe that was brought to France for reasons that I probably shouldn’t mention). In the 1960’s, a few marketing wizards thought it would be in the best interest of the foodie community to rename them. Hence the birth of the modern sunchoke. Now that we’ve gotten through the glorious introduction of this weird little tasty vegetable we can get onto the recipe.
In your recent Winter CSA share we included some potatoes, leeks, sunchokes and kale which I’ve used in the recipe below. I have to admit that I’ve never eaten a sunchoke prior to yesterday but was up to the challenge of pulling a recipe out of my little bag of tricks. I was trying to not make another soup for you but with the recent cold weather and frosty Washington mornings, I was craving soup. I’ve also included a little recipe for a Kale and Hazelnut Pesto that works quite well with the nutty characteristic of the sunchokes. I threw a little on top with a tiny bit of black truffle olive oil. The end result was quite tasty.
Scrub and cut sunchokes into 1 inch thick slices leaving the peel on. On a baking sheet, arrange the sunchokes on parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, and roast at 350° for 35-45 minutes, until fully tender.
Remove the outer layer and cut your leeks in half, lengthwise. Rinse each of them by pulling apart all of the layers under cold water. Cut your leeks into into 1/2 inch pieces.
Peel and chop your onion, garlic cloves and potatoes and set aside with the chopped leeks.
Melt butter in a large stock pot or dutch oven oven over medium heat, stirring constantly until it is a deep brown and has a nutty aroma. (About 2 minutes)
Add the your leeks, onions and chopped garlic and roasted sunchokes to the browned butter and cook on medium heat until they are soft and wilted. This should take around 10-15 minutes - be careful not to brown them.
Once everything has cooked down, add your broth and potatoes and and reduce heat to low. Cover your pot and allow to simmer for around 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Remove pot from heat, transfer to blender and puree until smooth.
Return soup to pot and add your heavy cream and salt to taste. Serve soup with a teaspoon (or more if you like) of the Kale and Hazelnut Pesto (recipe link included above) and add a couple drops of black truffle oil. Enjoy!