Late Summer Bounty

We are getting so many absolutely delicious vegetables right now. Though it is wonderful, it can definitely be quite overwhelming at times. Salad is one of the ideas that comes to mind and there are so many options to consider. Getting my kids to eat salads can be a bit of a bear at times. Here are two salads that I have been successful with and that my husband and I love as does company when they come. My son does prefer that you warm these up a little. I think part of what he doesn’t like about “salad” is the cold factor. Alas if they will eat it, I will warm it up. I have also learned to generally go a little lighter on the vinaigrettes and they tend to not notice that it is a “salad.” The following salad is different than the classic mayonnaise potato salad but a big hit with everyone.

Lemon Basil Potato Salad (Southern Living magazine)
2.5 pounds small potatoes, cut into eighths
Olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 medium purple onion, chopped
10 thick bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
10 ounces spinach, cut into strips

Arrange potatoes evenly on cookie sheet. Toss in olive oil. Bake at 475 degrees for 20-25 minutes until tender and golden.
Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, basil, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil in slow stream. Gently toss potato and onion with 1/2 cup vinaigrette. Arrange spinach in bowls, drizzle with vinaigrette. Top with potato mixture. Sprinkle with bacon.
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This next salad takes advantage of something in abundance right now, not through the CSA but at the Farmers Market…corn. My husband got me a book several years ago with main and side dish salads. The book has been indispensable. For the most part, the recipes call for things I normally have on hand and so far they have all been delicious. This salad is also popular with my children.

Fresh Corn Salad (from Raising the Salad Bar)
Kernels from 6 ears of fresh corn
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1 firm but ripe avocado, diced
2 scallions, thinly sliced or 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1/4 chopped fresh cilantro

Lime dressing
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

In a large serving bowl, remove corn kernels. Combine with the tomato, avocado and scallions. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Combine the dressing with the salad and gently mix. Garnish with chopped cilantro
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Sometimes I am not out to please the family but simply to enjoy the fresh produce at hand. That would be the case for the recipe. My husband and I end up eating this for dinner probably twice a week when heirloom tomatoes are at their peak. My kids don’t understand why would would dream of eating this but I LOVE it. It is adapted from a recipe I found in Gourmet magazine years ago. When I first made it, I’d never had heirloom tomatoes and didn’t appreciate how wonderful this dish is. Now I love all of the colors and textures combining together. I believe the original recipe called for bleu cheese but I am not a fan so have changed it to what I enjoy and can find at the Holland Farmers market.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese
8 1/2inch thich slices of good crusty bread
4 large garlic cloves, halved
3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup currant, grape, cherry or pear tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green onions
10 medium heirloom tomatoes cored, thinly sliced
1 small onion, sliced paper thin
3 celery stalks, sliced thin on diagonal
1.5 cups crumbled goat cheese
Prepare grill to medium high. Rub bread with garlic and brush with 3 tablespoons olive oil. I have been known to do the previous step in a hot frying pan. Maybe not the same but quick and tasty regardless. Combine remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, currant tomatoes and green onions in medium bowl. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Overlap tomato slices in circles on platter, alternating colors. Scatter onion and celery slices over tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon tomato and green onion mixture over top. Sprinkle with cheese. Grill bread or use frying pan, two minutes per side. Pile salad on bread and enjoy the yummy messiness!
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As always when I have ingredients that I don’t know what to do with, I end up trying epicurious.com. They did not let me down with this delicious cabbage soup recipe that is a hit with the entire family. The original recipe has a lemon creme fraiche topping but we do not do the topping. We just stick with the soup itself so if you think the soup would benefit from a lemon creme fraiche topping, just look it up on epicurious.com. At this point in August, I am not in the mood for a heavy thick soup but I freeze this and then can thaw it in January when I am most assuredly in the mood for this soup. Because of this, the soup doesn’t usually have the garnish of sauteed cabbage but we enjoy it nonetheless. Pair it with some nice crusty bread and lunch is served.

Potato, Cabbage, Leek Soup (from Bon Appetit)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 cups diced green cabbage (from about 1/2 of medium head or a whole small head)
3 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green only, 3-4 large)
3 garlic cloves, pressed
3 cups 1/2 inch cubed, peeled potatoes (about 1.25 pounds)
1 2×2 piece Parmesan rind (optional)
1 turkish bay leaf
6 cups (or more) chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add cabbage, sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper and saute until cabbage is almost tender but not brown, 6-8 minutes. Using slotted spoon transfer 1 cup cabbage to small bowl and reserve for garnish.
Add 1 tablespoon butter to pot with cabbage, add leeks and garlic. Saute over medium heat until leeks soften slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in potatoes, Parmesan rind if desired and bay leaf. Add 6 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender, 20-25 minutes. Discard Parmesan rind, if using, and bay leaf. Let soup cool. If pureeing while still warm, remember to have the center piece out of the top of the blender and hold a kitchen towel over that opening so steam can escape but not the delicious soup. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return puree to pot. Simmer until heated through, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to thin soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with reserved cabbage and chives.
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Though this is definitely a heartier meal, it fits right in with the produce we are receiving right now–zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers and onions. My kids don not appreciate this wonderful recipe but everyone else I have served it to does.

Ratatouille and Sausage Pot Pit with Cornmeal Biscuits (from the New York Times)
Biscuits
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons butter in 1/2 inch chunks
3/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
milk

Ratatouille
1 large eggplant, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 small zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
7 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley or basil
3/4 pound Italian sausage
1 large onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 red/yellow/orange or purple sweet pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1.5 pounds tomatoes
4 sprigs thyme
Biscuits-whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using fork, cut in butter until resembles coarse crumbs. Fold in sour cream. Knead until comes together in a ball adding drop or two of milk if necessary. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
Ratatouille-Toss eggplant and zucchini with 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with 3/4 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoons pepper. Spread veggies on baking sheet. Don’t crowd them. Roast, tossing occasionally until golden, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a deep saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Crumble sausage and cook over medium until done, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Saute onion, pepper, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon garlic until soft, 5-7 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and thyme. Simmer until tomatoes are cooked and stew-like, about 10 minutes. Stir in sausage, roasted vegetable and parsley. Pour mixture into oven safe dish. Divide dough into 6 balls. Squash into disks (1/2 inch thick). Arrange on top of ratatouille. Brush biscuits with milk. Bake in oven 25-30 minutes.

One more idea for those peppers and eggplants. This is quick, easy and delicious.
Grilled Sweet Peppers and Eggplant
2 sweet peppers, cut into wedges
1 eggplant, 1/2 inch slices
3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for tossing with peppers and eggplant
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 cup feta/goat cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper
Preheat grill. Toss peppers and eggplant with olive oil. Grill about 8-10 minutes. Arrange on a platter. Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, red wine vinegar and oregano. Pour over peppers and eggplant slices. Crumble goat cheese over veggies. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Flavor Intuition

Sometimes it all comes together. Once you start identifying the quirky  flavors of  individual  veggies…. the real fun begins! You can follow your flavor intuition and create a dish like this one made of beets, carrots and kale, with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and blue cheese crumbles. I am totally hooked!

This recipe uses the kale/chard, beets and carrots from pick-up and serves up a lovely balance of textures, and sweet vs. bitter with the balsamic and blue cheese being key, so don’t leave them out!! This dish makes a beautiful presentation and is probably more “adult”  friendly than kid as the mix of veggies may require a more mature palate.  However, you could serve any one of the veggies individually on the side with butter or a sprinkle of cheese to satisfy the kids. 

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Beets, Carrots and Kale with Balsamic and Blue Cheese
(Serves 4 as a side dish)

4 medium size beets, roasted, skins removed
4 medium/large carrots, washed
16 leaves of kale/swiss chard, stems removed and chopped fine
olive oil and/or bacon fat
unsalted butter
sea salt / pepper
balsamic vinegar
blue cheese,  for crumbling on top

    • If you didn’t pre-roast the beets, cut the stems off, wash and wrap in a foil pouch. Roast for 1 hour in a 400 degree oven. Pull out and allow to cool. Set them aside until you have prepped the carrots and kale.
    • Wash, de-stem and chop the Kale/Swiss Chard leaves finely.
    • Wash the carrots and run thru the processor with the grating blade.
    • When the beets are cool enough to handle, using your fingers just push the skins right off. Pop them into your food processor with the grating blade and grate them.
    • Heat an iron skillet and scoop in 1 Tbs of bacon fat or 2 Tbs of olive oil. Allow the oil to get hot enough that it shimmers, add the kale/chard. Let it fry for about fifteen seconds and then move it around a bit to coat it all, sprinkle on sea salt and let it sit for another 3-4 minutes. It should be bright green. Remove to a platter and set it in the middle of the platter, smoothing it out to be in a round circle. 
    • Once all kale is removed from the pan, heat another tablespoon of olive oil and add the carrots. Allow them to fry for a couple of minutes, grind some pepper over top, move then around and allow them to cook for another minute. Taste them to make sure they are tender, but don’t let them get mushy! Remove and pile them on top of the kale, spreading them out to almost but just short of the edge of the kale layer.
    • Once all carrots are removed from the pan, add 2 Tbs of unsalted butter and allow it to bubble up. Once done bubbling, add the grated beets and spread them in a layer in the pan so they fry up nicely. After 2 minutes, stir them around a bit and test for tenderness. By the way, quite possibly the best treat in the summer CSA world (outside of a properly made tomato sandwich) is fried beets!!! Sprinkle on some salt and the beets go right down the hatch! Sweet and salty!
    • Remove the fried beets and pile them on top of the carrots, again spreading to make a layered dish.
    • Drizzle a good balsamic vinegar over top of the whole dish, and sprinkle on crumbled blue cheese, right away so it melts a bit on the beets. 
    • Enjoy !

Tips for beets:

  • Each week, when your bring home your beets, decide if you have a dish in which to use them and if so, immediately wrap them in a foil pouch and roast them for an hour at 400 degrees. Roasting beets brings out their sweet, earthy flavor and you can almost NEVER go wrong with pre-roasted beets in any recipe.  Additionally, roasting them ahead of time cuts down on cooking time significantly when you add them to a dish.
  • Have you ever tried to peel a raw beet?? Almost impossible! So your choices are to eat them with the skin on, or roast them and slip the skin off in mere seconds.
  • If you don’t know what you are going to do with them on any given week, the good news about beets is that they will remain fresh and edible in your crisper for months. Wack off the stems, wrap them first in a piece of paper towel and then placed in a ziplock. Store in your crisper.

This week my flavor intuition also led me to this simple combination of potatoes and fennel, roasted in the oven. You can serve this for breakfast, lunch or dinner and it will be well received. How about adding chopped herbs or other root veggies?   Follow YOUR flavor intuition!

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Roasted Roots (Potatoes & Fennel)
serves 4

5-6 large potatoes (Groundswell’s potatoes are perfect for this dish!)
1 fennel bulb, stems trimmed off, sliced thin
olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Wash the potatoes, leave the skins on and chop into small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the faster they will cook, so use your best judgement. Place them on a large cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil on top. Using your clean hands, mix the potatoes around until all are coated. Yes, your hands will be oily, but it is faster to wash your hands then another dish and spoon, right?!
Spread the potatoes evenly on the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven on the center rack for 20 minutes. When the time is up, the potatoes should be starting to look crisp and sticking to the pan. Use a metal spatula to move them around and add the thinly sliced fennel. Add a little more oil if needed and mix so the fennel is coated. Place back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, checking to see if they are turning golden brown. When golden brown, pull out and enjoy immediately!

Eggplant is here and it is time for eggplant parmesan!
While I absolutely love eggplant parmesan, every time I make it I vow that I will never make it again, since it takes about a solid 5 hours to make just two pans (one for the night and one for the freezer). If you have ever wondered why your Aunt Tillie’s eggplant parmesan is so heavenly, it is because she is in her kitchen for a day stirring the homemade sauce, cutting, dredging, dipping and frying the eggplant, mixing up the ricotta filling and grating pounds of cheese!! Very labor intensive, super high in fat content and not easy to do with a 4-year-old hanging on your leg screaming “when will it be ready, Mama!”

So this year I decided to construct a dish that would hit the flavor combination, without all of the work and calories. Instead of standing over a pan of frying oil for an hour, I decided to bake the breaded eggplant on cooling racks inserted into cookie sheets, so that both sides would get crunchy. I also decided to skip the ricotta and in exchange for the homemade sauce I used fresh tomato slices. I topped the whole thing with provolone cheese slices, popped it back into the oven to melt and then sprinkled grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil on top. It turned into a super delicious, quick and easy dinner, and oddly enough my son asked for it at breakfast the next morning…yes, we did eat eggplant at 7:00AM! 

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Crunchy Eggplant Topped with Tomato and Provolone
(makes enough for 2-3 people)

1 large purple eggplant, washed (NOT peeled) and sliced lengthwise into 1/4″ thick slices
NOTE: 1 medium to large purple eggplant will serve 2-3 people so plan accordingly (you can use any variety of eggplant, I like the larger dark purple ones for this dish because they translate into larger/fewer slices and that means less dipping/breading time than with a bunch of small eggplants)
2 eggs lightly beaten with 1 Tbs water
1/4 cup flour for dredging
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

2 medium size tomatoes, thinly sliced
provolone or mozzarella cheese, sliced 
grated parmesan cheese
fresh basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare two cookie sheet pans with cooling racks on top (use the racks you have for cooling cookies, they should fit right inside the cookie sheets). This allows both sides to get crunchy in the baking process. Using a paper towel dipped in olive oil rub the racks so they are lightly greased. This will keep the crust from sticking to the rack when it is time to remove the eggplant.

Slice the eggplant lengthwise so you have large 1/4″ thick slices. You should get about 9 slices out of a medium/large eggplant. Place the flour in a shallow bowl and the eggs/water mixture in another shallow bowl, both large enough to lay the eggplant down flat inside. Then place the breadcrumbs, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper on a large plate and using a fork mix in the herbs.

Dredge each piece of eggplant in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture, both sides.  Gently arrange them on the prepared racks/cookie sheets. Place them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Check to make sure the crust isn’t burning and use a fork to test for tenderness.  They should still have some body to them and not be cooked to mush.  Pull out and place sliced tomatoes on top of each eggplant, topping with slices of cheese and pop them back in the oven for another 2-3 minutes or so, until the cheese is melted. 
Pull them out and plate them; sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan cheese and chopped basil leaves on top (sorry, I took my photo too soon in the process!) and serve immediately!  Did I mention this dish has a fraction of the calories found in traditional eggplant parmesan? (Which simply means we can all eat twice as much!)

For my final two dishes this week, please check back to see my post with recipes for Kholrabi with Blueberries and a Cool Cucumber dish.  Tune in tomorrow!  

Lisa McLean

Spring Greens!

Hello All,
Welcome to the second week of the 2013 Groundswell CSA season!
I am the second of three individuals blogging for the CSA this season and my bio is simple; married, working mother of a 4-year-old boy, focused on seasonal, locally sourced, organic foods, minimally processed and on the table, “right now, please, mama”!!
While I have a culinary education, and can’t resist creative dishes, limited time dictates simplicity. This is our 11th year participating in a CSA and I have learned a number of tricks along the way. My goal is to share some timesaver tips with you to help turn your weekly mountain of vegetables into healthy tasty meals, in a timely fashion.

I realize not every member of Groundswell is pressed for time due to family obligations and some of you may have time to linger and enjoy your evening kitchen ritual (wistful sigh); hats off to you! I will try to include a few recipes along the way that may be more to your liking, but please do not hesitate to share a recipe from your collection as well, and let us all live vicariously thru your culinary feats! Simply use the “Share Your Recipes” tab on the bar at the top of the blog.

A couple disclaimers:
I fly by the seat of my pants in the kitchen, based on my mood and what is on hand, (as my mother would say, “Improvise!”). So, my recipes are adaptations that continue to evolve and change. Simply put, they are very flexible so please be creative and modify to your taste as well and share your experience by using the “Leave a Reply” area at the bottom page of this blog.
Also, in a perfect world there would be lemons/limes growing in my back yard and a rice paddy field out front. While we strive to buy locally produced foods, we also know that in order to enjoy the locally produced foods that ARE available, sometimes we have to go out of our geographical area to get a complimenting ingredient.
Last but not least, I have been known to eat a pop tart and greatly enjoy it…. great, glad we got that out in the open.

Since it is spring, we will be enjoying many different greens, including cooking greens and herbs. These easily transform into salads and stir-fries. The key to speeding up time in the kitchen leading up to dinner is to pre-prep dressings, sauces and rice. For me, the CSA season always starts with a few weekly rituals. First, I take 15 minutes on Sunday and prepare a dressing for salads and a sauce for stir-fries. They can both be doubled to cover a few meals and will last two weeks so they can extend into the next week, if needed. I also prepare a pot of brown rice (or basmati, occasionally) to cover two meals as well. Stir fry dishes can become labor intensive between the vegetable chopping, prep for rice and making a sauce. If the sauce and rice are done, you are half way there! These are some of our favorites:

Cider Vinaigrette
(adapted from BonAppetit)

This is my “go-to” salad dressing. It would make a piece of cardboard taste fantastic…seriously, it is that good. I use it on a simple bed of mixed greens and add nuts, fresh or dried fruit, blue cheese or feta and sometimes cooked wheat berries. Use whatever you have that sounds like an interesting combination of sweet, salty and tangy. The key is the balance of vinegar, honey, mustard and oil, so try to stay close to the measurements. Minced chives make a great substitute for the shallots, but feel free to omit the shallots if you are not a fan.                                                                      Greens w/Cider Vinaigrette, Pears, Feta, Walnut

2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/3 cup grape seed oil (vegetable oil will do just fine, too)
1 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk the first three ingredients in a medium size bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add shallots, if using. Store/use for up to two weeks.

Southwestern-Style Dressing
(adapted from FineCooking.com)

This dressing makes great use of the herbs oregano and cilantro. You can put this on anything from a standard mixed green salad to baked potatoes loaded with veggies. In my photo below (click on it to enlarge), I have combined cubed, steamed potatoes, lightly sautéed corn and red pepper (the last of my frozen stash from last summer!) and topped it with this dressing. Add some grated cheddar and the kids will love it! In fact, you will find yourself searching around for ANYTHING to put it on when you have a craving. The key here is the toasted cumin seeds and the fresh lime.

3 Tbsp. fresh lime juiceDressing Southwest, oregano, cilantro
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. minced fresh oregano
2 tsp. minced fresh cilantro
1-1/2 tsp. cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Place the cumin seeds on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan and place in preheated oven at 300 degrees. Toast for 7-10 minutes, checking to make sure they aren’t burning. Cool on aSalad, Potato, Corn, Red Pepper, Cilantro separate plate. When fully cooled, grind and set aside. This can be done days ahead of time. I use toasted/ground cumin in a lot of dishes so I keep a fair amount on hand. It can really pep up a fried egg sandwich, any veggie dish or hamburgers!

Whisk together the lime juice, sour cream and mayonnaise. Add the oil, starting with 1/8 cup and only adding until the consistency is correct for your final use of the dressing. For example, I use more oil when I am going to use the dressing for greens than I do when I am going to mix it with potatoes. Add the garlic, oregano, cilantro, cumin seeds and mix gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store/use for up to two weeks.

Bok Choy Stir-Fry in Marmalade Sauce
(adapted from Vegetariantimes.com)
Serves 4, but can be increased by adding more rice, veggies, tofu or chicken; you won’t need to double the sauce.

As far as stir-fry sauces are concerned, this recipe is tried and true. It is perfect for this time of the year as we are enjoying bok choy, however, I make it all summer long and use it to dress any stir-fried veggies. The marmalade adds a citrusy brightness with just a hint of sweetness that goes well with any greens, broccoli, snow peas, red peppers…. and the list goes on! For added protein, you can add tofu or cubed chicken. See notes at the end about additional cooking time for adding raw chicken to the dish.
The keys to a successful stir-fry are: have ALL ingredients chopped, measured and ready to go; keep your wok or skillet hot and don’t stop stirring!

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Sauce
1/2 cup orange marmalade
4 Tbs. soy sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
4 Tbs. water

2 Tbs. peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 hot chiles finely chopped or 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (this is mild; add or pull back based on your tolerance to heat)
1 lb or fairly large head of bok choy, cut into 1-inch lengths (5 cups)
1/3 cup toasted unsalted cashews or peanuts (this is optional, the recipe is still great w/o)

Additional options:
2 cups drained and cubed tofu (two 8 oz. packages)
2 cups cooked cubed chicken
2 cups raw cubed chicken
Carrots and red pepper, when in season, go well too!

If you pre-prepped your rice, pull it out of the fridge now to let it begin to come to room temp. Otherwise, make 1-1/2 cups brown or basmati rice, following your package instructions.
Whisk together marmalade, soy sauce, cornstarch and the 4Tbs of water. As noted earlier in my post, this can be made days ahead of time. Set aside.

Heat wok (I prefer an iron skillet) to high heat, until water droplets evaporate within 1 second. Add oil, then garlic and ginger. Stir-fry 2 minutes. Incidentally, in case you didn’t know, stir-fry means exactly that, stir while it is frying!! Add chiles and if using tofu or cooked chicken, toss it in now. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes, or until tofu cubes are brown or chicken is heated thru. Add bok choy, and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until bok choy starts to soften. Here is where the pre-cooked rice comes in handy. Pour your desired quantity of rice over top of the veggies and then pour the sauce on top, starting with just half of your sauce and adding as needed to fully coat the rice and veggies. You may not need all of the sauce, depending on whether you added additional veggies/tofu/chicken. Save it for another dish later in the week. Stir gently to make sure all veggies/meat are coated with the sauce. Heat thru for 1-2 minutes. Serve sprinkled with toasted cashews or peanuts.

NOTES: If using raw chicken, cube it and add to the pan at the same time as the garlic and ginger. You will need to increase the cooking time to 3-4 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink and is lightly browned. Continue with the rest of the recipe.

Potato, Swiss Chard and Cheese Latkes
makes about 10-12
My neighbor, Steph Harding, a good friend and wonderful cook, got me hooked on these and now I am obsessed! I am embarrassed to admit that I made them last week and ate 7 of them in one sitting!! My son declared he was not interested until I topped one with a dollop of sour cream and then he dove in and exclaimed, “Mama, I DO like Latkes!” (sour cream is my friend.)

Latke swiss chard, feta, sausage 2

2 large russet potatoes (any starchy potato will work)
15 medium stems of swiss chard, stems removed and leaves finely chopped (when you are done chopping, the pile of swiss chard should be about 1/2 to 3/4 the size of the grated potatoes, but no worries if you have more or less)
Herbs – any herbs you wish to add, I used chives, finely snipped
2 eggs
1/3 cup Feta cheese, broken up (you could use any kind of cheese to your liking)
salt & pepper
sour cream

Wash the potatoes, leave the skins on, and run them thru your food processor, using the blade specifically made for grating. You can grate by hand, but it takes mere minutes in the food processor. Place the potatoes in a colander, give a good rinse to get the extra starch removed, and then press down on the potatoes to remove access water. I then put them on a towel, wrap them up and squeeze out any remaining water. This is an important step so they crisp up when cooked. Place in a large kitchen bowl.

Wash the swiss chard and remove the stems, setting them aside for use in a stir-fry. Finely chop the leaves and add to the bowl of potatoes. Also add the chopped herbs and feta cheese, stirring until evenly distributed.

Beat the eggs with a fork until foamy. Add a pinch of salt and grind some pepper in, to your taste. You can add some Frank’s Hot Sauce or Sriracha chili sauce if you want to zip it up! Pour over the potato mixture and gently fold the eggs in, until everything is evenly coated with the egg mixture.

Preheat your iron skillet or nonstick griddle for this one. I have read about the dangers of nonstick, however for this dish nonstick makes it super easy to cook them and clean up. Heat till water droplets sizzle and evaporate. Run a chunk of butter around the griddle to fully cover it with a coat of butter. Let that sit for about a minute before adding spoonfuls of the potato mixture, flattening each with a spatula so they cook evenly. I used a lid to one of my pots to partially cover the latkes in order to increase the heat and get them to cook faster. If done in an iron skillet they would cook faster, but the trade off is that they stick more readily. If you chose to use an iron skillet, use oil instead of butter to get a thin film of grease across the skillet.

Flip when they are fully set and looking crunchy on the first side. Allow to cook till crunchy on the second side. Remove from griddle and serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream and snipped herbs. You could also serve them with some of Annie’s Organic Ketchup and the kids will gobble them down!

My final recipe for the week is a bit of a wild card and one of my favorites for a number of reasons. Who doesn’t love pizza? The dough is made 24 hours in advance, which allows for it to be a no-knead dough that is completely fool-proof. The toppings are completely flexible; just use whatever you have, leftovers work best! If you double the dough, you can get 2 large pizzas, (9″ x 11″ each) which works for dinner and then leftovers for lunch the next day. The shortcuts are: 1) pre-sauté the veggies and meat (if you do a stir-fry the night before, just throw extra veggies and meat in the pan and fish them out prior to adding your sauce), 2) keep a jar of homemade pesto or BBQ sauce on hand (you can use any favorite store bought sauce) and 3) grate the block of cheese beforehand. With these items pre-prepped, it is a 15 minute assembly job the night you serve it. If you aren’t into making your own dough, any store bought version works, or throw it all on a lightly toasted English muffin, bagel or tortilla shell and run it under the broiler….pizza is served!

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Kale, Cheddar Cheese and BBQ Sauce Pizza

Crust
(adapted from Pizza on the Grill, by Karmel and Blumer)
makes (1) 9″ x 11″ crust

3 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour (I use unbleached white, see note below for using variations of wheat/white)
1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
3/4 tsp. salt
1-1/4 cups milk (I use raw milk, so full fat, but the original recipe calls for 2%)
2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for the bowl
Polenta (also know as coarse-ground cornmeal or corn grits) for sprinkling on the baking sheet; this is a KEY ingredient as it gives the pizza a wonderful rustic texture!

Toppings (this is a great sweet/salty combination, but be creative and use whatever veggies/sauce/cheese you like!)
1/4-1/2 cup BBQ sauce (you can use whatever you have; pesto/pasta sauce/olive oil)
1/2 lb. ground sausage, cooked and drained
10 Kale leaves, stems removed and discarded, leaves finely chopped and sautéed in oil (or bacon fat if you have it! Yummmm!)

The dough must be made 24 hours in advance to allow for fermentation, which eliminates the whole kneading process (have you ever found yourself wondering “Did I knead it enough, too long, too hard, is it going to rise?” The fermentation eliminates all the guesswork.
Pour a little oil into a large mixing bowl and using a paper towel wipe it around to lightly coat the bowl. Set aside. Whisk the flour, yeast and salt together in your mixer stand bowl, then pour in the milk and oil. Using the dough hook, turn the mixer on low for a minute to get it started. Stop to scrape down the sides and then let it run on low for another minute, scraping down the sides again to get the flour incorporated. Then run the mixer for about 3-4 more minutes until the flour is fully incorporated and the dough is clinging to the dough hook. Turn off the machine, scrape the dough into the oiled bowl. Don’t worry if it is sticky; you can’t overmix, undermix or mess this up! Flip the ball of dough around a couple times in the bowl to coat it with the oil and then cover with whatever lid you have for the bowl or plastic wrap and then a clean towel on top. Allow the dough to sit undisturbed and at room temperature for 24 hours. I make this the night before serving and leave it on my kitchen counter.

About 3 hours before you want to use it, turn the dough once in the bowl (gather the ball of dough, and turn it around so that the air escapes). This allows for another opportunity for the dough to rise a bit. If your schedule doesn’t allow for this step, then just turn it in the morning before you leave.
When you are ready to make the pizza, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and position the rack in the center of the oven. You can divide the dough to make smaller pizzas or make one large pizza. Using a cookie sheet pan, sprinkle the polenta to lightly cover the pan. With flour-covered hands (keeps it from sticking) gather the dough into a ball and work it into a flat disc and then stretch it into a rectangular shape, about 6 x 9. Then lay it into the pan of polenta and slowly stretch it out to the full 9 x 11 size. It may try to shrink up, which is okay, just leave it be for a minute and let it relax. Then stretch it again. You can go thinner and larger than 9 x 11, but don’t go much smaller as it will be doughy and will not cook evenly.

Once the dough is secured on the polenta/pan, start spreading your sauce, going as thick/thin as you prefer. Then add the meat, sautéed kale and finally the cheese. Bake for 10 minutes and check to see if the bottom of the crust is getting brown and also if the cheese is melted to your liking. Depending on your oven, (they all cook differently) you may need to bake a few minutes longer.
Remove the pizza, immediately transfer to a cutting board and using a pizza cutter slice and dice it down to a bunch of squares. It is important to cut the pizza immediately, or the cheese cools and the toppings come off/apart when cutting. Enjoy!

Notes: You can play around with the flour to make the crust healthier by variations of swapping wheat flour or spelt for the white flour, but my experience is that it doesn’t rise quite as much and is denser/heavier. This is not a bad thing, if the toppings are matched appropriately. I guess I just believe that pizza is a treat and should be, well….not fat-free and the healthiest dish in your arsenal. One thing to remember, if you are serving this to children; a kale pizza on a fully risen, chewy crust with lots of gooey cheese is going to be cheered, as opposed to a heavy wheat crust with minimal cheese. Just sayin….pick your battles.

Thanks much for checking in to the Groundswell blog and considering these recipes for your pick-up this week. I hope some of them become your favorites as well!
See you in a couple weeks!

Week 1: First week for 2013 pickup

Hooray! it is the first week of pickup for Groundswell CSA members. New this year, the writing of the Groundswell cooking blog is being shared between three of us. This week I will introduce myself and in the weeks to come, you will meet the other writers. We are going to try to provide you with at least 5 recipes per week that we have tested in our kitchens and that we find to be delicious.

My husband and I moved to Holland 16 years ago. We love fresh local food and seek it out wherever we are. I enjoy cooking but at the end of the day, it can be about getting a healthy meal on the table quickly for my husband and two kids. In the meals I serve my family, I am aiming to get in as many whole grains and fruits and vegetables as I can. As a general rule, we avoid processed foods. I try to buy local when it is feasible and freeze or can some (Don’t be too impressed. We don’t put up nearly what we could but we do our best.) of our delicious Michigan produce so that we can continue to enjoy it throughout the winter. Our two children, ages 11 and 13, are usually pretty willing to try new things but it can’t be too out there. Just over a year ago, my daughter decided that she would be a vegetarian. Though that can make things more challenging, I do believe that it has actually made us all eat a healthier diet as I strive to feed her healthy well-balanced options. My goal when posting would be to provide you with healthy, fairly fast recipes that use the tasty fresh produce we are getting each week from Groundswell.

This first week, we will most likely be enjoying lettuces, cilantro, a choice of perennial herb, and maybe radishes and bok choy from Groundswell . Nothing says the start to the CSA and farmers markets like a crisp fresh salad. One of my favorite salads is a version of the French Salade Nicoise that I learned while I was studying abroad. This dressing can be used for the accompanying salad or on its own on any salad.
French Vinaigrette
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar (you can play around with different vinegars)
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 Garlic clove, pressed
2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs (oregano, basil, thyme or parsley), optional
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Pepper to taste

In the bottom of a salad bowl, combine the above ingredients. I prefer my vinaigrette more vinegary so I use a little more vinegar than the typical 2 to 1 ratio so I use 2.5 tablespoons in the above recipe. Layer the following ingredients on top of the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Pretty much any fresh vegetable that you have lying around can be incorporated into the salad. Fresh beets are delicious and peas as well. My go to version is-
4-5 small unpeeled potatoes, cut into chunks and boiled
Small head of lettuce
2 tomatoes, chopped
A handful of green beans, blanched
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
Grilled salmon or tuna fish crumbled over the top, optional

Another favorite way to enjoy lettuces in our house, and a great way to get my kids to eat lettuce without hearing them complain about eating a salad, is with lettuce wraps. Our favorite is
Korean-Style Pork chili wraps (Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s There’s a Chef in My World)
1.25 pounds pork tenderloin
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
4 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1.5 cups cooked brown rice
1 head Boston, bibb, romaine or butter lettuce

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil, green onion, garlic and ginger. Whisk together until the sugar dissolves. On a clean cutting board, slice the pork into thin strips. Place the strips in the soy marinade, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. In a small mixing bowl, combine the Sriracha, the honey and the remaining 2 teaspoons of sesame oil along with the grated ginger. Stir to combine and set aside. When the pork has marinated, take it out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 15 minutes. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove pork from marinade and carefully place in hot skillet. Cook, stirring constantly with tongs or a spoon, 4-5 minutes until cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in sesame seeds. To serve, spoon several teaspoons of rice into center of lettuce leaf, like a taco. Top with a few pork strips and drizzle with a few drops of the chili mixture. Roll up and eat.

Those fresh herbs will be put to good use along with the fresh asparagus at the farmers market in
Herbed Asparagus (Recipe from The New Basics)
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
4 ounces parmesan cheese, optional

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the asparagus. Simmer until just tender, 1-2 minutes. Combine butter, chopped herbs and pepper and blend thoroughly. Just before serving, melt the herb butter over medium heat in a large heavy skillet. Add the asparagus and toss gently to heat through, 2 minutes. Transfer asparagus to a platter. If desired, shave parmesan over top.

An herbed butter is always a tasty addition to fresh bread or to mixed into potatoes.
Herbed butter
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, chives, dill, thyme (any combination of the above)
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the above ingredients. Serve on bread or over vegetables or potatoes.

Week 22: Last Week of our 2011 CSA

Thanks to Katie, Tom and the most amazing farm crew for the wonderful season of fresh produce! 
 
Best Breakfast Hash Ever (aka Hippie Hash) 
Bacon fat or olive oil
1/2 lb potatoes, diced and par boiled for 8 minutes in separate pan
1/2 lb beets, diced and par boiled for 9-10 minutes in separate pan
2 large leeks, green part removed, sliced thin
2 large carrots, diced
1/2 celeriac, diced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cup broccoli
1 8 oz package mushrooms 
fried eggs, optional
wild rice and onion bread, optional
hot sauce, optional
 
 Now you can go crazy and add or take away any vegetables you’d like with this…parsnips would be good or par boiled squash even…
 
So Here is what we did. Fry a pound of bacon in a cast iron skillet. Remove bacon and 1/2 the bacon fat. Add the leeks, carrots, celeriac and saute for about 5-7 minutes. Add green pepper and broccoli, saute another 2-3 minutes. Add in the par boiled potatoes and beets. Continue cooking and adding oil as needed. Add mushrooms and cook. 
Fry some eggs in a separate pan. Serve the eggs, with runny yolks over the hash. Serve with your favorite toast and a side of bacon! YUM! 
 
 
 
Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Walnuts
1 stalk brussels, sprouts removed and cut into fine shreds (chiffonade cut)
1 cup cranberries, sliced 
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
salt, pepper
1/2-1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1-2 tbsp sugar 
In a frying pan coated with olive oil (about 1 Tbsp) add the brussels sprouts and saute over medium high heat a couple minutes. Add the cranberries and continue to cooke a few more minutes. Add the vinegar and stir to combine. Taste for seasonings needed. Add desired amount of sugar (depending on how sour or sweet you’d like this dish, I added 1 tbsp sugar).  Toss in the walnuts. Stir. Serve. 
 
Creamy Potato and Wild Rice Soup
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light
 
I have added cooked chicken to this with great results. 
1 cup uncooked wild rice, cooked according to package directions
olive oil
1 cup chopped onion 
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken stock
3-4 cups cubed baking potato (I don’t peel the potato, but you certainly can) 
3 cups milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
10 ounce cheese, cubed or shredded (a good melting cheese is best here)
salt, pepper
 
 
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with olive oil. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth and potato; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until potato is tender.
Combine milk and flour, stirring well with a whisk. Add the milk mixture to potato mixture; cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in rice, 1-2 cups diced chicken if using, pepper, and salt.
 
 
Celeriac and Red Lentil Burgers
Recipe adapted from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way
1 1/2 cups red lentils
Cook lentils in at least 3 cups water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes, drain. 
1 celeriac, peeled ad cut into 1/2 inch dice
Place celeriac in a saute pan covered with water. Bring to a boil, simmer 15-20 minutes until very tender. Drain.
Place the celeriac and 1/2 the lentils in a blender or food processor and puree.
In a bowl place the remaining lentils and the pureed mixture
 
1 medium onion, diced
Olive Oil
1 tbsp fresh sage
1 tsp fresh thyme 
1 tsp fresh rosemary 
(OR you can use poultry seasoning if you don’t have the fresh herbs)
1/4 cup red wine
salt and pepper
1-2 cups fresh bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375. 
In the saute pan, heat olive oil and add diced onion. Saute until just turning brown, about 10 minutes. Add the herbs, salt and pepper. Pour in the red wine and stir until 1/2 has evaporated. Pour this mixture over the lentil celeriac mixture in the bowl. Now add bread crumbs, as many as you need to form a patty. I used 1 1/2 cups. 
 
In the saute pan add a tbsp olive oil. Place the patties in the pan and cook a few minutes on each side to brown. Place on an oiled baking sheet. Place the sheet in the oven for 15 minutes, turning once during cooking. 
Serve on a bun with your favorite condiments. 
 
Chicken Taco Fajitas with Cabbage Cilantro Slaw
2 Chicken Breasts
olive oil
2 green peppers, thin sliced
1 hot pepper, optional, minced
1 large onion, thin sliced
southwestern seasoning, or fajita seasoning, or any combination of cumin, chipotle chili powder, cayenne desired
1 fresh lime juiced
Queso fresco, optional
Avocado, optional
Flour Tortilla Shells or Corn Tortillas
In a frying pan, coat with olive oil (1-1 1/2 Tbsp)
Add chicken breasts and cook over medium heat until cooked through. Remove Chicken from the pan and shred. Add the peppers and onions to the pan. Saute until cooked through, but still have a slight bite to them (about 10 minutes). Add seasonings and lime juice and return chicken to the pan, adding more olive oil if needed. 
 
For the Cabbage Slaw
1/2 head red cabbage, cored and sliced thin
1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 fresh limes, juiced
salt, pepper
1 small bunch cilantro, minced 
1 tbsp olive oil
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes while making the chicken and pepper filling. 
 
Arrange chicken mixture on a warmed tortilla. Top with Cabbage slaw, cheese and avocado. 
 

Week 21: Cool weather comforts

Pumpkin Puree
Great for storing in the freezer. Think pumpkin bread, pumpkin bars, pumpkin pie, pumpkin waffles (see recipe below)…1 large pumpkin makes about 2 cups puree. 
Cut the pumpkin in half. With a spoon or a scoop, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center.
Place pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet (face up or face down; I’ve done both) and roast in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes, or until pumpkin is fork-tender.
Peel off the skin. If you have a food processor use it to puree the pumpkin until smooth. You could also use a food mill or blender. 
Note: this method also works for squash. 
 
Pumpkin Waffles
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of ground cloves
2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and allspice in a large bowl. In another bowl combine milk, pumpkin, sugar, oil and eggs in a bowl. Add to flour mixture. Stir just until moist.
Coat a preheated waffle iron with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter per waffle onto hot iron. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until green light goes on (as my iron does anyway). Repeat procedure with remaining batter.
Suggested additions: I LOVE adding Chocolate Chips to this recipe! Also pureed squash may be substituted. 
 
Egg Roll and/or Pot Stickers
not a meat eater? No worries, sub more vegetables for the pork! 
1 cup chopped Chinese cabbage
1 cup chopped Asian Greens
1/4 cup minced green onions
1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 tsp dark sesame oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
3/4 lb ground pork
24 round wonton wrappers or 12 egg roll wrappers
1 tablespoon  oil, divided
2 cups  chicken  or vegetable broth, divided
Preheat oven to 400 degrees if using egg roll wrappers
Combine cabbage through pork in a bowl. Working with 1 wonton wrapper or egg roll wrapper at a time , spoon about 1 heaping teaspoon filling into the center of each won ton wrapper or about 2heaping teaspoons into center of egg roll wrapper. Follow directions on back of package for folding directions. Place dumpling, seam side up, on a platter. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.
Heat 2 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet.
If making egg rolls: In a large saute pan cook filling mixture until meat is cooked through and vegetables have softened a bit but still have a bite.  Place egg rolls on a baking sheet brushed with peanut oil. Brush tops of egg rolls with oil also. Bake 12-14 minuted or until golden brown and center is cooked through. 
Arrange 12 pot stickers, seam sides up, in pan, and cook until browned. Add 1 cup of chicken broth to pan; cover and cook 5 minutes. Uncover and cook about 1 minute or until liquid evaporates. Remove the pot stickers from pan; cover and keep warm. Repeat procedure with the remaining  oil, pot stickers, and broth. 
 
Pickled Daikon and Carrot
2 large daikon, peeled julienne fine
2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
1 tsp salt
place the vegetables in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt.  let sit for 30 minutes. Strain in a sieve and rinse with cold water. 
In a half pint mason jar, pack the vegetables and pour 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup vinegar with 1 tsp-2 tsp sugar. Let stand 1 hour in the fridge. Serve with the pot stickers. 
 
Stock Making 101:
There are many ways to make home made stock! Here is my go-to no fail recipe:
 
2 chicken carcasses (if making chicken stock) OR 1 package white mushrooms (if making vegetable)
about 1 large onion, chopped (I leave the peel on)
about 3 large carrots, chopped (I lave the peel on)
about 3 stalks celery, chopped
bay leaf, 2 cloves, 1 garlic clove, about 6 peppercorns
sprig of thyme
small handful parsley
4 oz white wine or squirt of lemon juice 
8-12 cups cold water
 
Place all in a stock pot. Bring to a simmer (not a rolling boil!). Skim off scum that floats to the top. Simmer 4 hours or until flavors deepen. Strain vegetables and seasonings. Cool. Skim Fat from top. Freeze or use within a few days. 
 
Roasted Fall Vegetables over Cheesy Polenta
For the Vegetables:
1 head cauliflower, floret part cut into large chunks
2 red peppers, cut into large chunks
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 butternut squash, peeled seeded and chopped into small cubes
2 potatoes, diced
Olive oil
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place vegetables on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and rosemary. Cook 45-60 minutes or until vegetables are tender and cooked through. 
 
For the polenta
4 cups broth or water
3/4 cup course cornmeal
salt, pepper
1/2 cup cheese diced (optional)
Bring the water to a boil. Slowly rain in the cornmeal, whisking constantly. Simmer over very low heat for 40 minutes, whisking occasionally.  When the texture is creamy and the polenta has thickened slightly, stir in cheese and remove from heat. 
 
Serve roasted vegetables over the polenta.
 
Portobello Kale Onion Saute
Great as a side dish or main dish. Great on a toasted bun with a little cream cheese. Also great over or under grilled pork or chicken. 
 
2 large portobellos or 4 baby bellas, sliced 1/2 inch slices
1 large onion, sliced thin
10 leaves kale (or more if desired), thick stems removed and course chopped
dash worcestershire sauce
dash soy sauce
sprinkle of brown sugar (about 1 tsp)
Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a saute pan. Add the onions and cook until light golden brown over moderate heat for about 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they start to release their juice (about 4-5 minutes). Add the kale and saute another 5 minutes or until the wilted. Sprinkle in sauces and brown sugar and salt. Stir and adjust seasoning. 
 
 
 
 

Week 16: Summer meets Fall

Thanks to Tom, Katie and the farm crew for all the lovely produce this week! 
 
Homemade Tomato Ketchup
2.5-3 lbs ripe red tomatoes, quartered
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 T black peppercorns
1 T mustard seeds
1 T allspice berries
1 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp celery seeds
1 thin slice fresh ginger
cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp coarse salt
Large pinch cayenne
Quarter the tomatoes, place in strainer and allow to drain for a few hours to release excess water.  Place tomatoes, onions, bell pepper and garlic in a large pot.  Bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very soft about 30 minutes.  Pass through a food mill 2 or 3 times starting with a course blade and working to the finest blade until you have a very smooth puree. Alternatively, puree in a blender until smooth and pass through a fine strainer into a large bowl.  Place peppercorns through bay leaves on a piece of cheesecloth and tie it up to form a bag.  Add to tomato mixture along with brown sugar, paprika, vinegar, salt and cayenne.  Simmer slowly stirring frequently until ketchup is very thick, at least 2 hours.  Remove cheesecloth bag.
 
Fajita Burritos
1 large green bell pepper, sliced
2 large red bell peppers, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1-2 hot peppers, minced, optinal
fajita seasoning (I use Moctezuma’s, from their food store on lexington ave in GR)
salt and pepper
2 steaks, sliced, optinal
juice of 2-3 limes
8 oz package mushrooms, optinal
Black Beans
Flour Tortillas, the burrito sized
Cooked Rice
Pico de Gallo (see recipe below)
other additional topping suggestions: guacamole, cheese, sour cream, salsa verde (with tomatillos)
In a large frying pan coated with oil, add the peppers and onion. Cook over medium high heat until nearing the desired degree of doneness. Add the limes and fajitas seasoning, stir. Add the steak and mushrooms and more seasoning if desired. Saute until the meat is cooked to the desired degree of doneness. 
Take a warmed flour tortilla and load it up with rice, beans, pepper and steak filling, toppings and roll it up like a Burritos (good luck with not filling it entirely too full!). 
 
Pico de gallo
 
 
 
4 large tomatoes, diced
1 large red onion, diced
2 small hot peppers, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
pinch of salt
juice of one lime
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Boiled Greens over Polenta w/Braised Lamb Shanks
For the lamb shanks:
4 (12-ounce) lamb shanks, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 quart diced tomatoes
oregano, chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley (from top of parsley root if you have it)
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with olive oil. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Add lamb to pan, and cook on each side or until browned (about 5 minutes per side). Remove from pan. Add garlic to pan; sauté 15 seconds. Add wine; cook 2 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Return lamb to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Turn lamb over; simmer 1 hour or until meat is done and very tender. Place lamb on a plate; cover loosely with foil. Add butter and sugar as desired and bring sauce to a boil,  cook 10 minutes or until thickened. If you want a smooth sauce, use an immersion blender or pour the sauce into a blender and puree (be careful for the steam and only put small amounts in the blender at a time). Return lamb to pan; cook until lamb is thoroughly heated. Stir in parsley. Serve over polenta with boiled greens.
 
For the polenta: 
While the lamb is simmering, start your polenta. 
5 cups water
1 cup coarse cornmeal
Bring water to a boil and slowly rain in the polenta, whisking constantly. As the sauce starts to thicken, switch to a wooden spoon. Simmer on a very gentle heat for 30 minutes (I turn the burner on low and move the pan to the side of the burner so part of it is off), stir occasionally. Start a double boiler with about 1.5 inches of simmering water. Transfer the polenta to the double boiler, place a piece of parchment paper directly on the surface (to stop the formation of a crust). Leave over simmering water for 45 min-1 hour.
 
For the greens:
I like to use a bunch of mustard greens, thick stems removed and large sliced. you could also sub kale or collard greens.
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp mustard seeds, optional
salt and pepper
olive oil
Coat a medium sized sauce pan with olive oil. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes or until cooked. Add garlic and mustard seeds. Saute 2 minutes. Add greens and saute until just beginning to wilt. No add about 1 cup water or until just barely covering the greens. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the greens from any remaining liquid.
Sometimes I like to make boiled greens, mix them with a little stone ground mustard and serve them over grilled brats. 

 
Open Range Vegetable Kebabs 
1 eggplant, cut into large cubes
1 large onion, cut into large bite sized pieces
2 bell peppers, cut into large squares
1 cup cherry tomatoes
5 potatoes, cut into chunks
mushrooms, if desired
garlic cloves, if desired
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper 
Fresh herbs, chopped (any that you want)
Skewers (I recommend metal if you are cooking them outside over a fire. If you are cooking over a grill and using wood skewer, remember to soak them for at least 30 minutes before using)
Par boil the potatoes. Place in boiling water for 5 minutes (so they are not cooked through but begining to soften).
 
 
 
 
 
Start your fire and get it nice and hot. Alternate the ingredients on a skewer. Place skewer over a grill grate placed on the fire pit. Cooke until desired degree of doneness, flipping the skewer a few times during cooking for even heat. 
Serve with homemade ketchup from above. Also good with beef, cubed and marinated in a little red wine and olive oil. I usually place the meat on a separate skewer as the cooking time is different from the vegetables. 
 
 
 
 
 
Bulgar Pilaf with cherry tomatoes and raisins
2 cups beef broth
1 cup bulgar
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
salt, pepper
chopped parsley for garnish
 
 
 
Combine broth, bulgar, raisins, tomatoes in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Serve warm or cold.
 
 
 
 
Roasted Broccoli with Tahini Sauce
I always have a jar of tahini sauce hanging out in the fridge. This is a great use for it! 
2-3 cups broccoli florets, trimmed and cut
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
salt, pepper
2 garlic cloves, slivered
2 Tbsp tahini
1 lemon, juice
Preheat oven to 450 degreed.
Toss broccoli w/ 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on baking sheet, roast 15-20 minutes until florets start to brown.
Heat remaining tbsp oil in sautee pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sautee 1 minute. Stir in tahini and 1/3 cup water. Simmer 1 minute until starts to thicken. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice. Toss with hot broccoli.


Week One Five:Chop and Drop One Pot Wonders and More!

This week we have a fabulous recipe from a special guest blogger:
 
Theresa Z master of letting necessity, intuition, and blind faith take the meal by the spatula.
The scenario: Didn’t have time to take in this week’s share and about 1/2 peck of tomatoes ended up in the fridge (which really diminished their flavor) with a banana pepper, 4 carrots, 1 cup broccoli, a red onion and one wilty bok choy. OY!
 
Step 1: Make Rice! This is always a good starting place with cooking. It gives you a little time to brainstorm and guarantees you won’t  go hungry, even if everything else goes up in flames.*
*Note: if your other dishes do go up in flames, this may affect cooking times. 
 
Step 2: Decide that it’s ok to make two completely distinct meals, and share some for lunches! 
 
Today’s recipes are for: Long Shot Tomato Restoration and Lentil Soup for Later. 
 
Step 3: Bring 2 cups lentils to a boil in 8-10 cups of water or broth. If water, add 2 Tbsp soup base (vegan or chicken stock) when the water is hot, reduce to a simmer and let it be for 30 minutes. 
 
Step 4: This is your opportunity to chop everything up (If you really want to stretch the recipe with soo many vegetables–feel free to add another cup or two of water)
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup variety of pole beans
4 carrots, sliced
1 large heirloom tomato– big pieces
1 large red onion (any onion will do)- chopped as you like
 
Step 5: Saute the onion in a pan with olive oil (on medium heat) till golden.
 
Step 6: Once the lentils are fairly tender (at about 20 min) add broccoli, carrots, beans and cook for a bit til tender as well.
 
Step 7: Turn off the heat and add tomatoes, 1/2 bok choy, and 1/2 of your onion
 
Step 8: Now that you’ve got your lentil soup together–let the tomatoes and bok choy get into the mix and turn your attention to the beautiful chaos that is the “stirfry”
 
Step 9: Forget about Step 8
 
Step 10: To saute onions, ad broccoli, boy choy, and anything else that did not make it into your lentil soup. Chop Up banana pepper/red peppers- toss ’em in. Add as many tomatoes as you can. 
 
Step 11: Add more olive oil to coat veggies and 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and a dollop of anything fun you can find in the fridge (1 found caramelized onion and cherry chutney! Wow! 2 Tbsp teriyaki (or two shakes ) will do )
You can stop right there, or add all of those  groundswell tomatoes and bring back their amazing Groundswell flavor. 
That’s right, just dump them all in and heat ’em up.
 
Step 12: Don’t forget about the rice! It should be just about perfect for your stovetop masterpiece. 
 
x0x0 ,
the “Chef”
 
I tried the lentil stew and stir fry…AMAZING! Thanks Theresa Z. ! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Katie’s kale with peanut sauce
Katie brought this to the weed & feed this year. It’s lick-the-pan delicious!
recipe from Simply in Season
 
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves garlic minced
In a large soup pot saute in 1 Tbsp oil
 
1 medium tomato (diced; optional)
Add and simmer 2-4 minutes
 
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Add, cook and stir 2 minutes.
 
Kale, 8 cups chopped
1/2 cup water
Add and steam until greens are soft but not mushy. Avoid overcooking. Stir occasionally to coat greens with the spices.
 
2-3 Tbsp chunky peanut butter
1-2 tsp hot water
Combine and add to greens at end of cooking time.
 
Tuscan Style Poached Eggs with Chickpeas
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
5 large heirloom tomates, large diced (you can blanch to remove skins if you want) As you can see below I used yellow tomatoes.
1 1/2 cup chickpeas, cooked
1 sprig fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large farm fresh eggs
1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives 
1 Tbsp chopped basil
Lots of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Toasted Pita, for mopping up the tomatoes with 
 
 Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and garlic. Cook the garlic, stirring often, until it begins to turn light golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and thyme and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes cook down and the sauce thickens slightly, about 12 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs and season the mixture liberally with salt and pepper. Stir in the chickpeas and simmer until they are heated through. Reserve about one-third of the sauce in a bowl and spread the remaining sauce evenly around the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium low, crack the eggs into the tomato sauce, and lightly spoon the reserved tomato sauce over the whites of the eggs (not on the yolks). Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes so the eggs set slightly. Uncover the skillet and set it under the broiler until the yolks firm up slightly but are still soft to the touch, about 2 minutes. 
 
Broccoli Salad
recipe adapted from Simply in Season
 
1 head broccoli florets (about 1.5 cups)
handful dried cherries (or cranberries or raisins, but cherries is the best by far)
5 slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 scallions diced or (1/4 cup red onion, chopped)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (or chopped pecans or both!)
Toss in a bowl
 
Dressing: Whisk together 1/2 cup plain yogurt (or mayo), 1 tbsp sugar, a good drizzle of honey (about 1 tbsp) and  1 tbsp cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar).
 
Pour dressing over salad. Toss to coat. Serve.
 
 
Freezing basil with oil
Tom told me about this method of freezing basil. It’s super quick and easy and eliminates the need to make the whole pesto recipe now…
Per plastic lined muffin tin (see picture):  in a food processor add 4 cups basil, pulse to combine. Drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil with motor running. Place the pesto in the muffin tin cup and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining basil. Pop this in the freezer. When frozen, unwrap and place in a zip lock bag.
Now you just have to take out one and add the remaining pesto ingredients as you want through the winter!
This can also be done in ice cube trays without the plastic wrap, but I couldn’t find mine.
 
Minestrone
recipe adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook
 
 
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
splash of dry white wine (about 1/4 cup), optinal
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 stalk celery, minced
2 carrots, diced
1 summer squash or zucchini, diced
1 medium sized eggplant, diced
2 tsp fresh oregano, minced
1 tbsp basil, stacked rolled and thin sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
handful green beans, ends trimmed, chopped
5 cups water (more if desired)
30 oz tomato sauce (or puree) about 4 cups
1.5 cups cooked beans   such as chickpeas, kidney beans, adzuki beans…
1 cup dry small pasta  such as shell
minced parsley
 
Heat olive oil in a dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrot salt and saute over medium heat for ab0ut 10 minutes. Splash in some white wine, if desired. Add eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, oregano and basil. Saute a few more minutes. Add water and tomato sauce. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add green beans and cooked beans. Simmer another 5 minutes. Bring soup to a boil, add pasta, stir and cook until pasta is tender. Sprinkle with parsley and parmesan cheese.
You can freeze this as well.
 
Parsley Root Lentil Stew
So, parsley root is parsley on top and parsnip root on bottom (basically, in a cooking sense anyway). It’s best to remove the parsley from the top when you get home to maintain freshness.
recipe adapted from Mariquita Farm
 
1 lb  Dried lentils, -washed and drained
2 tbsp bacon drippings, -or oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 parsley root or parnsip, chopped
3 md Carrots, sliced
1 c  Sliced fennel or  celery
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 lb smoked -sausage, chopped
8 c  Broth (or Water)
1 t Salt to or to taste
Several whole black pepper-corns
2  Whole cloves
2  Bay leaves
In a large pot, heat fat and add carrots, root vegetable, onions and celery. Saute until onions are golden. Add potatoes and sausage. Saute until sausage begins to brown. Add lentils, water, and seasonings. Simmer covered 1 hour until lentils and vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves.  Serve with a crusty bread and salad. 
This is great frozen and pulled out in the dead of winter!
 
Caponata
This Sicilian Dish is one of my all time favorite late summer dishes: sweet, salty, sour, and a hint of bitterness, what’s not to love. All parts of your palette are touched upon each bite. Great over grilled bread, on crackers, served with polenta and my favorite way is tossed with pasta and topped with cheese.
 
2 tablespoons olive oi
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 medium firm eggplant, diced
1/2 cup large green olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata black olives, pitted and chopped
1 3 oz  jar capers, drained
3/4 cup golden raisins
Salt, Pepper
1 quart dice tomatoes (or 4 cups fresh tomatoes, skinned, blanched and chopped)
2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Place your cutting board near the stovetop. Preheat a big, deep pot over medium heat. Add oil. As you chop vegetables (peppers, onion, and celery), add them to the pot. Add eggplant and garlic last. Once vegetables are in there, increase heat a bit. Stir in olives, capers, and raisins. Add tomatoes to the pot and stir caponata well to combine. Cover pot and cook caponata 15 to 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Stir in parsley and remove pan from heat.
 
 
If you are making Caponata Pasta Bake: while cooking veg, cook pasta (I like Rigatoni or Penne). When Caponata and Pasta are cooked, stir together and place in a 9x13pan. Top with slices of provolone cheese (8oz). Place in a preheated oven until the cheese melts. YUM
 
Polenta Bake
I do so love making fresh creamy polenta (recipe coming soon), but during the busy weeknights, I admit to sometimes buying the premade tubed polenta.This is a great hearty quick weeknight dish!
1 16oz tube refrigerated prepared polenta, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 package Italian Sausage, Casings removed
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 red or white onion
8oz sliced mushrooms, optional
2 large garlic cloves
Fresh chopped oregano
1 quart diced tomatoes (or 4 cups fresh tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
8oz shredded mozzarella
Preheat Oven to 450 degrees
Arrange polenta slices in the bottom of a 9×13 pan coated with cooking spray (or oil). Bake the polenta slices 4 minutes, flip and bake another 4 minutes.
Coat a large skillet with a little oil over medium high heat. Add the sausage and fennel seeds. Cook for a few minutes until sausage is just beginning to brown. Add the peppers and onion, cook until beginning to soften. Add mushrooms and cook. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add oregano, tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook until sauce is heated through and beginning to thicken.
Pour sauce over polenta and top with cheese. Place in the oven until cheese is melted.
 
Stella’s Polish Sauerkraut
1 lb bacon, sliced into strips
1 onion, sliced thin
1 large head of cabbage, shredded thin
1 quart sauerkraut (recipe coming soon)
2 cups chicken broth
1 lb kielbasa, sliced into bite sized chunks
Cook the bacon and onions in a large pot until cooked through. Start adding the cabbage.  Let cook for awhile until all is cooked down. Add the kielbasa and allow to brown a bit. Now add the sauerkraut and chicken broth. Let simmer at least 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
This can be frozen after cooked and cooled.
 
Slow Roasted Tomatoes
 
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Halve 10 medium sized tomatoes (plum sized). Arrange tomatoes cut side up, in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 tsp sugar.  Roast 1 hour 30 minutes. At the end turn on the broiler and cook until just starting to char a very little.
 
Serving Suggestion: cook 1/2 lb gemelli pasta. In a fry pan coated with oil add 1 small diced onion, 1 minced garlic clove, and 2 oz chopped dry cured meat (such as salami) optional cook until onion is translucent and salami is crisp. Toss the slow roasted tomatoes into the pan and let simmer a few minutes. Toss this with the pasta and top with a generous heap of parmesan cheese. If basil is available, this is great on top as well with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
 
Oven Dried Tomatoes
Cut small tomatoes in half. Place halves on a rack over a baking sheet, make sure it doesn’t overlap. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt. Place in a 140 degree oven that has a dehydration mode (or in a dehydrator tray). 
Now the time will vary. I’ve had it take 9 hours once and up to 12 hours. I like to put them in before going to bed. The tomatoes will be dry, wrinkly and shriveled.
Store in a tighly sealed bag or in oil. Store the oil in the fridge. 
 
*Often while I am drying tomatoes, I’ll throw in a few herbs. Herbs only take and hour or two in. Remove the leaves from the stems, crumble, and place in a spice jar. 
 
Freezing Greens
It’s super easy to freeze greens. Simply remove thick stems. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the greens in the pot. Simmer 2 minutes. Cool quickly (I run cold water over the greens). Dry (I place them in a strainer and then in a clean kitchen towel). Place in a freezer bag. Label. Lie the bag flat in the freezer. 
 
 
 

Week 13: late summer recipes

 
Grilled Vegetable Lasagna
1 eggplant, cut into 1/4 in slices
1 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 summer squash, cut into 1/4 inch slices
4 portabello mushrooms
2 bell peppers, preferably sweet red, cut in half
olive oil
salt, pepper
8 oz ricotta cheese
1/2 cup basil pesto 
1 egg
7 lasagna noodles
3 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store bought
fresh oregano, chopped
1.5 cups mozzarella or cheese of your preference
 
Coat veggies with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place veggies on the grill, red peppers cut side down. Zucchini, summer squash and eggplant will only take a couple minutes on each side. Grill Red Peppers until they begin to char on the skin. Grill mushrooms until they are cooked through. Place red peppers in a baggie and seal. After a couple of minutes, remove the red pepper from the bag and peel the charred skin off. Slice the red pepper into strips. Cut the mushrooms into slices. 
Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Make the pesto or if it is made already, place it in the bowl of a food processor. Add the ricotta cheese and whirl to combine. Stir in the fresh oregano. 
Spread 1/4 cup sauce on the bottom of an 8×8 oven safe pan. Arrange 1/3 of the noodles (cut to fit) over the sauce. Top with 1/2 veggies and 1/2 ricotta mixture and 1/2 cup marinara sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 the cheese. Arrange 1/3 more noodles, 1/2 cup sauce, rest of the veggies and the rest of the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the remaining cheese. Cover with remaining noodles. Spoon remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese. 
Bake 375 degrees for 1 hour or until cheese is bubbly and lasagna is cooked through. 
 
 
Cauliflower Red Lentil Curry
Basmati Rice, cooked
2 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 serrano chili pepper
1 cup red lentils
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp curry powder, I like to use a mild curry powder blend
salt, pepper to taste
1 can coconut milk
1 head cauliflower florets
fresh lime juice, or lemon juice
 
Melt butter in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for a few minutes. Add ginger, coriander and mustard seeds and saute for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add lentils and spices and 1.5 cups water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the coconut milk and cauliflower florets. Simmer 7-10 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
Serve over rice with a little lime juice. 
 
Tahini Curly Kale Salad
I actually received the tahini dressing from a friend, but I imagine it is simple to whip one up. Store bought tahini dressing may also be used here. 
 
10 curly kale leaves, stems removed and discarded, leaves torn into large pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4-1/3 cup Tahini Dressing
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
 
Place the kale leaves in a bowl. Pour some tahini dressing over the kale and toss to combine, making sure all is covered with the dressing. Add the cherry tomatoes and sesame seeds and drizzle with a little more dressing. 
You can serve this right away, but I like it best after it has chilled overnight in the fridge. 
 
Peasant Soup
10 leaves Swiss Chard, remove thick stems and dice small, stack roll and cut leaves thick, separate 
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
olive oil
3 cups beef broth
1.5-2 cups diced potato (I used fingerling)
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
 
In a medium sized sauce pan, add a swirl of olive oil (about 1/2 tbsp). Add onions and Chard stems and saute 5-7 minutes. Add garlic clove, saute 1 minute. Add beef broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. Add Chard leaves and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Simmer just until the Chard leaves wilt. Remove from heat and serve with your favorite crusty bread for dipping. 
 
Zapple Sauce
Like applesauce but with zucchini. I like to use this in muffins and quick breads. Freezes well!
Recipe from Serving up the Harvest
 
4 cups peeled, and diced Zucchini
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
 
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat. Stir occasionally for 30-40 minutes until slightly thickened and very soft. Let cool.
 
For the muffins:
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 18 muffin cups with butter.
Sift flour baking powder, soda, salt, and nutmeg into a large bowl. 
Beat butter and sugar in another bowl . Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour, alternating with the buttermilk just until smooth. Stir in zapple sauce just until evenly distributed.  
Divide batter among the prepared muffin cups. 
Bake 25-3 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 
Cool on a wire rack. 
 
Baked Carrot Zucchini Fritters
2 medium zucchini
1 medium summer squash
1 bunch carrots
2 scallions, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 eggs
1/4-1/2 cup flour
salt & pepper
1/2 tsp coriander powder
splash of hot sauce
hot pepper cheese, or your favorite cheese, shredded (optional)
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grate the zucchini and summer squash into a sieve or strainer set over a bowl. Sprinkle wiht salt and let stand for about 10 minutes. Grate the carrots into another medium sized bowl. Drain zucchini by squeezing out the moisture. Add to the carrot bowl, along with the green onions and parsley. Toss to combine.  Add eggs and stir to combine. Add enough of the flour to create a loose paste that will stick together. 
Drizzle a baking sheet with oil. Scoop about 1/4 cup portions onto a baking sheet and flatten into a round pancake shape. 
Bake until golden brown, flip, top with cheese and bake until cheese is melted. 
 
 
Red Russian Kale Salad w/Red Wine Vin
7 leaves Red Russian Kale (the one with purple veins), thick stems removed, leaves hand torn
blender red wine vin (see recipe below)
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Pine nuts, toasted
 
Place kale, cherry tomatoes and pine nuts in a bowl. When ready to serve top with red wine vinaigrette. 
 
Blender Red Wine Vinaigrette 
When I make a big batch of vinaigrette, sometimes I like to start the emulsion in the blender, this way the oil and vinegar will stay emulsified for several weeks in the fridge. 
 
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (I like to use Chianti Wine Vinegar)
1 1/2 cups oil (I used olive, but others could be substituted)
Combine mustard and vinegar in a blender and blend for 30 seconds. With machine running, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of oil. Pour this mixture into a bowl. Now slowly whisk in remaining cup of oil. 
 
Stuffed Peppers
Great Served with Tomatillo Salsa (see recipe below)
This makes enough steak spanish rice to take some as leftovers for lunches. 
 
2 cups beef stock
1 3/4 cup water
2 cups brown basmati rice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lbs steak 
salt and pepper
1 large onion, chopped (red or white)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 sweet pepper, chopped 
4 cups diced tomatoes
2 tsp ground cumin
chipotle chili powder, cayenne pepper, fajita seasoning mix, to taste, optional
hot sauce
5 stuffing peppers, any large pepper you want to stuff hot or sweet 
Hot pepper Cheese, or your cheese of choice, shredded
 
Heat stock and water to a boil. Add rice, reduce heat and simmer 40-50 minutes until water is absorbed. 
Heat oil in a skillet, Add beef cubes and brown. Add onion and pepper, saute until tender. Add all remaining ingredients except stuffing peppers. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Mix in Rice. 
Cut the peppers in half and discard seeds. Grill the peppers about 4-5 minutes per side. Place peppers on a baking sheet. Pile rice mixture in each half. Top with cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted. 
 
 
Cooked Tomatillo Salsa Verde
2 cups tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 jalapeno
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup cilantro
1 garlic clove
1 tsp oil
juice of 1/2 lime
salt
 
Place tomatillos and jalapeno in a small saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until soft about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand a few minutes. Drain. 
Place tomatillos, jalapeno, cumin, garlic, and cilantro in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. 
Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add tomatillo mixture. Simmer until slightly thickened. Stir in lime juice and salt. Remove from heat. Serve. 

Tom, Katie and Groundswell Community Farm Crew ~ THANKS FOR THE GOOD EATS! YOU GUYS ROCK! 

carrots in the soil

baby summer squash and blossom

 
 
 
 
 

garlic strung up and drying

Week 12: Summer Recipes

This blog post is taken directly from our Groundswell Community Farm Cookbook. Enjoy! 
 
Summer
Solanacie & the Abundance of the sun
 
Eggplant
One of the most beautiful plants in the garden- the eggplants themselves are amazingly large, hanging orbs and have an ancient and majestic aura to them. But what can you dowith this bland and sometimes slimy and distasteful vegetable? A heat lover, the eggplant is grown in Arab countries and from there we get some great recipes.
Cooking tips: Do cook, cooking eliminates a toxic substance called solanine.
To sauté: Try dipping slices or chunks in flour or eggs and breadcrumbs before sautéing.
Sauté in hot oil until light brown. Season with herbs, garlic, grated cheese, etc.
 
Nutrients: Cooked, 1 cup diced– 38 calories, 2 g protein, 4.5 g fiber, 8.2 g carbs., 20 IU Vitamin A, 6 mg Vitamin C, 22 mg Calcium, 24.6 mg Magnesium, 1.08 mg Iron, .5 mg Zinc, 2 mg Sodium, 496 mg Potassium.
 
Baba Ganouj: an eggplant dip
From Anna: You can bake, grill or roast the eggplant, but grilling or roasting over hot coals will make for the best flavor. 40 minutes to prepare.
 
a little oil, for the baking sheet 1 medium (7 inch) eggplant
2 medium cloves garlic, minced . cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini black pepper and cayenne, to taste
olive oil and minced parsley (for garnish) 1/2 tsp. salt
 
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise,and place face-down on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until very tender. Cool until it’s comfortable to handle.
2. Scoop out the eggplant pulp, and discard the skin. Place the pulp in a food processor or blender, and add the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, and salt. Puree until smooth. (An alternative is to mash by hand, leaving the eggplant a little chunky.)
3. Transfer to an attractive serving dish, cover tightly, and chill. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with minced parsley just before serving with crackers or toasted pita bread.
 
Ginger Sesame Eggplant
1 medium eggplant 1/4 tsp. hot sauce
olive oil 1 T rice or wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 T. peeled, grated ginger 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1 T. sesame seed oil 2 T. chopped cilantro
 
1. Coat 1 medium eggplant with olive oil and roast at 400 degrees until soft. Allow to cool, then peel, pull apart into 1/2 inch pieces and mix with any juices that have accumulated.
2. Combine garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Sauté together until translucent. Toss with eggplant chunks and season with hot sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and cilantro.
 
Japanese Braised Eggplant
From New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant
2 medium eggplants
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 T molasses
1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 oz. tempeh, cubed
2 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 t ground fennel seeds
1/4  t cayenne
1 t ground coriander seeds
1 green pepper, diced
4 cups sliced mushrooms (1 lb.)
3 T tomato paste
salt to taste
brown rice
chopped scallions
toasted sesame seeds
 
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Leaving the stems on, cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Mix together the sherry, soy sauce and molasses. Oil a baking pan, pour the sherry mixture into the pan, place the eggplant halves, cut side down, and cover it tightly and bake at 350F for 45 minutes, until tender.
3. Brown the cubed tempeh, 1/2 cup of the onions and 1 t of the fennel in oil for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Turn off heat and add 1/4 t cayenne.
4. In a separate pan, sauté the remaining 2 cups onions, the coriander and the remaining teaspoon of the fennel until the onions are translucent. Add the pepper and the mushrooms and sauté another 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
5. With a slotted spoon, lift the tempeh and onions from the oil and stir them into the sautéed vegetables. Stir in the tomato paste and 2 T of the braising liquid from the eggplant baking pan. Salt the filling to taste.
6. Turn the eggplant halves over in the baking pan. With a fork or spoon, carefully mash the pulp a little and then push into the sides, making a hollow in each half and taking care not to break the skins. Fill each hollow with one-fourth of the filling. Cover the pan tightly and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes, until piping hot.
7. Serve on a bed of rice, pour some juice from the pan over the eggplant and sprinkle with chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds
 
Melons & Watermelons
You know how to enjoy these. Store melons in the fridge or in a cool spot until you cut them.
Nutrients: Fresh, slice 1” thick and 10” diameter has 152 calories, 2.97 g of protein, 9.6 g fiber, 1762 IU Vitamin A, 46.5 mg Vitamin C, 38 mg Calcium, 52 mg Magnesium, 10mg Sodium, 560 mg potassium.
 
Spicy Melon Salsa
From Margie Kuhn
 
2 cups watermelon chunks
2 cups cantaloupe chunks
Juice from 1/2 a lime (or lemon)
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped finely
 
1. Mix all ingredients.
2. Let sit for 1/2 hour before serving.
 
Notes:
a) Feel free to adjust amount of jalapeno pepper up or down to suit taste;
b) Can substitute canned jalapeno peppers;
c) Can substitute and/or add honey-dew melon.
d) Can add some fresh cilantro.
 
Onions
I have a hard time cooking anything without onion as a base. Heat up the oil, throw in a chopped onion and smell the juices released as it sizzles. Onions are classic for creating flavor. Red onions are great marinated in limejuice, rinsed and eaten raw on sandwiches and in salads. The sweet Walla Walla variety can also be eaten raw.
 
Nutrients: Cooked 1 cup sliced, 60 Calories, 3 g protein, 2.8 g fiber, 12.2 g Carbs., 35 IU Vit. A, 15 mg Vit. C, 50 mg Calcium, 10.5 mg Magnesium, 15 mg Sodium, 231 mg potassium
 
French Onion Soup
From Too Many Tomatoes by Lois M. Burrows and Laura G. Myers “There should be no
shortcuts on the croutons! Good croutons are trouble, but worth the effort.”
 
8 Medium onions, chopped
4 T. butter
2 T. flour
2 Cups water
2 Cups beef or vegetable broth
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper, freshly ground, to taste
4 French rolls, or 12 slices French bread
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 Cups grated Swiss cheese
6 tablespoons port wine (or cooking wine or almost any wine around will do)
 
1. Cook onions gently in butter until blond. Add flour. Cook, stirring, until golden and sizzling.
2. Pour in 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and stir. Add broth and seasonings. Boil 10 minutes.
3. Trim crusts, slice bread, and then quarter each slice. Brown each side under broiler.
4. Rub croutons with garlic.
5. Pour hot soup into 6 ovenproof bowls. Top with croutons. Cover with cheese. Broil until cheese melts.
6. Lift crust of soup, and pour 1 T. port into each bowl.
 
Cucumber – Onion Salad
From Margie Kuhn
 
1/2 red onion – sliced thin
2 cucumbers – sliced thin
Dressing:
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
 
1. Mix dressing ingredients
2. Pour over onion and cucumber slices; mix.
3. Let rest for at least 1/2 hour before serving.
 
Peppers
Freezing Peppers
Every year, I freeze peppers and use them in any cooked dish. I dice most for stir fries and julienne others to sauté for fajitas. Then, I put them on a flat dish like a cookie tray or cake pan and set them in the freezer for about a half hour to pre-freeze. When they are no longer wet or damp to the touch, I quickly fill up freezer baggies and stack them in the freezer. This is one of my favorite ingredients in the winter, and it’s the easiest 10 minute meal to throw together a few frozen veggies for a quick sauté. This year, I experimented with dehydrating the peppers before freezing them, but I won’t try them for a month or so.
 
Nutrients: Sweet, green raw, 1 average size– 14.8 calories, 1.04 g fiber, 2.59 g carbohydrate, 306 IU Vitamin A, 94.7 mg Vitamin C, 6.9 mg Calcium, 13 mg Magnesium, 8.88 mg Sodium, 148 mg Potassium
 
Balkan Grilled Pepper Salad
From The New Moosewood Cookbook
4 T olive oil
1 – 2 T red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
Salt
Black pepper
1 small red onion
2 large green peppers and 2 large red
peppers
10 ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
10 olives, oil-cured, Greek or kalamata
1 T fresh oregano leaves
2/3 cup feta cheese, for garnish
 
1. Roast the peppers directly over a medium-high flame on a gas stove or just over the coals on a grill until the skins are blacked. To peel, run peppers under cold water and remove skin. Then, core and cut the peppers into . inch wide strips.
2. In a serving bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add onion, tomatoes, olives, and oregano leaves. Toss well. Cover and marinate peppers for 2 hours at room temperature.
3. Just before serving, taste and correct the seasoning and transfer to a shallow serving dish. Sprinkle with feta and serve with a crusty loaf of bread.
 
Lime Fajitas
From Katie
1 lb. steak, beef or venison
1 t paprika
1 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1/4- 1/2 cup lime juice
2 T tamari, soy sauce or salt to taste
2 T olive oil
2 onions, cut in long strips
5 peppers, cut in long strips
1 hot pepper, minced or a dash cayenne
1 T chopped fresh basil
1/2 t paprika
1 T tamari
grated cheese
~3 small corn tortillas per person
 
1. Cut the steak into long thin strips and brown in a heavy pan over medium-high heat. When the meat is almost cooked but not quite finished sprinkle the first group of spices over the pan and pour in the limejuice and tamari. Let the meat cook until the juices are almost cooked away, about 2 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the onions and peppers.
3. Remove the meat to a large bowl and immediately pour your oil into the still-hot pan from the meat. Add the onions when the oil is hot, about 30 seconds after you pour it in and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the peppers, spices and tamari and cook another 2 – 3 minutes.
4. Heat the tortillas over the flame of a gas stove or in a pan with a little oil
5. Bring the meat, veggies, tortillas and cheese to the table for everyone to make their own fajitas.
 
Pasta with Red Bell Pepper Sauce
From Gardeners’ Community Cookbook
2 T olive oil
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
8 red (or other) peppers, finely chopped
1/2  t sugar
1 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 T chopped fresh basil leaves
1 T chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1 t
dried oregano
1/2 cup white wine or water
3/4  lb. spaghetti or other pasta, cooked
and drained
 
1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onions and garlic and sauté over medium heat until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Add the bell peppers, sugar, salt and pepper and stir to mix. Cook over medium heat until the peppers are soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and oregano and continue cooking 1 minute more, until the herbs are wilted. Remove and cool enough to handle.
3. Puree the mixture in a food processor until as smooth as possible. Return to the pan and stir in enough wine or water, up to 1/2 cup, to thin the mixture to a saucy rather than paste consistency. Reheat over low heat, pour over the pasta and serve right away.
 
Potatoes
Potatoes have been a constant in many “American” diets- from French fries at fast food places to mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving dinners. We use potatoes to describe the texture and/or how to use many of our other vegetables. We grow a juicy early red variety, a big baking variety, an all blue type, and several others. Our potato-harvesting day is a fun CSA event for children as they dig through to dirt is search of edible treasures.
 
Nutrients: Peeled after boiling, 2.5” in diameter– 105 calories, 2.9 g protein, 3.9 g fiber, 23 g carbs., 1 IU Vitamin A, 22 mg Vitamin C, 10 mg Calcium, 19.3 mg Magnesium, 4 mg Sodium, 556 mg potassium.
 
Potato Skins
From Nourishing Traditions
Skins from baked potatoes
2 T melted butter
1 cup grated cheese
1 bunch green onions
Optional garnishes: Sour cream, piima cream, or crème fraiche; crumbled bacon; guacamole, etc.
 
1. Bake potatoes and scoop out and use for other dishes, such as mashed potatoes.
2. Brush potato skins with butter, inside and out and bake at 350 F for about 1/2 hour or until the skins become crisp.
3. Serve with cheese and other garnishes
 
Tomatoes
A rainbow of colors and flavors. We talk about tomatoes constantly at the farm. “I just used my last jar of tomatoes, how will I make it till July?” “Wouldn’t this be great with tomatoes in it?” For a food that was not even considered edible in this country before the 1800’s it is amazing how much we depend on it!
 
Nutrients: Raw, whole, 2.5” diameter ( nutrients vary when cooked)– 25 calories, 1 g Protein, 2 g fiber, 6 g carbs, 1,110 IU Vitamin A, 28 mg Vitamin C, 16 mg calcium, 16.8 mg magnesium, 15 mg sodium, 300 mg Potassium.
 
 
Chilled Sun Gold Soup
From Local Flavors
 
2 pints sun gold tomatoes
2 shallots, finely diced
sea salt
black pepper
3 T white wine or other vinegar
2 t finely diced Serrano pepper
2 T olive oil
1 firm avocado, chopped small
1 T chopped basil or cilantro
 
1. Pluck the stems off the tomatoes and rinse them. Add them to a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid with half the shallots, . t salt and 1 cup water. Cook over medium-high heat, keeping one ear inclined to the pot. Soon you’ll hear the tomatoes popping. Take a peek after a few minutes to be sure there’s sufficient moisture in the pan—you don’t want the tomatoes to scorch. If the skins are slow to pop, add a few tablespoons water. Once they release their juices, lower the heat and cook, covered, for 25 minutes.
2. Run the tomatoes through a food mill or cool and put them in a food processor. You’ll have about 2 cups. Chill well, then taste for salt.
3. Just before serving, combine the remaining shallots in a bowl with the vinegar, Serrano pepper, oil, avocado and herbs. Season with a pinch or two of salt and some pepper. Spoon the soup into small cups, divide the garnish among them, and serve.
 

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About Us

Groundswell Community Farm grows over 40 different crops and 200+ varieties, to provide our CSA members and Michigan restaurants with an amazing array of colorful and flavorful veggies.

Copyright © 2019 Groundswell Community Farms. All rights reserved. Site by CurlyHost.

Groundswell Community Farm grows over 40 different crops and 200+ varieties, to provide our CSA members and Michigan restaurants with an amazing array of colorful and flavorful veggies.

Copyright © 2019 Groundswell Community Farms. All rights reserved. Site by CurlyHost.