Week 10: weeding and feeding

Last Thursday we had a  fun evening at the Weed & Feed Party on the farm! Check out some before and after shots of the fields, plus some market pics, on our facebook fanpage album. Click here. 

Thanks to Katie, Tom and the super cool farm crew for all the lovely healthful gorgeous produce this week!

Cauliflower Caviar
this is a fun little appetizer packed with delicious flavor. I actually haven’t tried the endive from the farm yet, but I imagine you could use some of the small leaves close to the center for this in place of the belgium endive. 
adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
1 head cauliflower, coarsely chopped florets only
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces prosciutto, bacon or hard salami, chopped (I used salami)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
8-10 belgian endive leaves (about 2 small heads) 
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Arrange cauliflower florets in a single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle with black pepper and kosher salt, tossing to combine. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until cauliflower is lightly browned.
3. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a small skillet over medium heat. (if using bacon, no need for oil) Add meat to pan; sauté until crisp, stirring occasionally. Add garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Drain on paper towels.
4. Combine cauliflower mixture, prosciutto mixture, and vinegar in a large bowl; coarsely mash with a fork.  Spoon 2 tablespoons cauliflower mixture into each endive leaf.  Sprinkle with parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Raw Beet Salad with Walnuts and Goat Cheese
You can prepare the beets ahead of time if you want and let sit in the dressing overnight. Store the walnuts, goat cheese, and spinach separately. Toss these ingredients with the dressed beets right before serving. 
3 small or 2 medium raw beets, trimmed and peeled, julienne cut (or grated) 
1/2 small red onion, thin sliced
1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
1 orange, zest and juice
2-3 TBSP olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt, pepper
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Spinach or mixed greens, lemon juice, olive oil.
Combine the beets, onion, walnuts, and orange zest in a medium bowl.
In a small jar w/ lid combine and shake the orange juice, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine.
Divide the salad onto serving plates and top with crumbled goat cheese.
May serve over spinach or mixed greens dressed lightly w/ lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. 
Summer Squash and Carrot Puree
I purchased a cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld called Deceptively Delishious a while ago. I bought it to try recipes for my family and friends with ‘picky-eater syndrome’ kids, but quickly realized even adults need certain vegetables to be cleverly disguised sometimes. Let’s face it, when you buy into a CSA you’re going to get some of THOSE vegetables you’d probably never willingly purchase at the store. Though neither summer squash nor carrots are one of THOSE vegetables for me, I didn’t see myself eating all that was given to us this week, so I pureed them, used some in cupcakes and an egg bake then froze the remaining puree in a zip locks for winter… if you must know…swiss chard is one of THOSE vegetables for me.
3 medium sized summer squash, ends trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bunch carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces 
Steam separately over about 1 inch boiling water. Steam 7-9 minutes for squash. 10-12 minutes for carrots. Place in a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes until smooth (add a bit of water if needed to get a smooth but thick consistency).
Summer Squash Cupcakes with Carrot Puree Frosting
I guess this could make 12 cupcakes if you only want a tiny bite…I made them double decker with cream cheese in the center and on top (it was for my birthday,so  I went all out)…makes 12 small or 6 large cupcakes. These are actually pretty dense shortcake-like cakes (the egg whites are deceptive).
5 large egg whites
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour, sifted 
1/2 cup summer squash puree
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract or pure lemon extract
Frosting Ingredients:
8 oz package cream cheese
1/2 cup carrot puree
juice from 1/2 large orange
dash of cinnamon
drizzle of honey (to taste according to how sweet you want it, I added about 1 tbsp)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 12 muffin cup pan. In a bowl combine the flour and lemon zest. In another bowl, beet the egg whites , salt and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Stir puree into the flour with 1/2 egg whites until just barely combined. Gently Fold in remaining egg whites. Scoop gently into muffin tins evenly. Bake until light golden about 12-16 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while you make the frosting.
Frosting: beat all ingredients until smooth. Chill until cupcakes are cool.
To frost: Cut top rounded part of 6 cakes with serated knife (to create a flat surface). Frost and top with another small cupcake. Frost again, let the frosting drip down the sides (the messy look is fun sometimes) and serve with a little sprinkle of cinnamon  and powdered sugar on top. Eat or chill for later. Store leftovers in the fridge.

 Baked Herb Eggs with Summer Squash Puree and Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes
Another use for the squash puree now or later this winter. Feel free to change up the herbs in the eggs, I just used what I had on hand. 
3 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1 cup yellow squash puree
1/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (or your favorite kind of cheese)
3 green onions, green part only, sliced very thin
7-8 basil leaves, stacked, rolled and thin sliced (chiffonade cut)
1 tsp fresh oregano, minced 
2.5 Tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 4 (1 cup) oven safe coffee cups or souffle cups or ramekins with oil and place on baking sheet.
Whisk the eggs, squash pure, cheese, green onion, basil, oregano, flour, baking powder and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Divide mixture evenly in baking dishes. Bake 17-20 minutes until no longer runny and puffed up in center.  Serve immediately. 
for the tomatoes: 
1 cup cherry tomatoes 
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
splash of olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Place tomatoes on a small baking sheet. Toss with remaining ingredients. Bake until the skin begins to shrivel a bit and they are heated through. 
Kale and Pinto Beans in a Tortilla with Fried Eggs
Don’t you love it when you come home from work ravenous, thoughtlessly throw something quick and easy together in about 10 minutes and it actually tastes really delicious?! Here is a really simple recipe for kale pinto bean tortillas. Good for brunch, lunch or dinner…add other ingredients as you want…i.e. tomatillo salsa on top, cheese, chopped onion sauteed with kale, hot pepper flakes, cilantro…
7-8 kale leaves, thick stem removed, rough chopped (I used toscano kale)
2 galic cloves, minced
olive oil
1.5 cups cooked pinto beans
2-3 green chilies, roasted and skin removed, chopped OR 1 small can diced green chilies
salt and pepper
hot sauce, optional
4 eggs
4 flour tortillas
In a fry pan with the oil, saute kale leaves with a sprinkle of salt and pepper until begining to wilt (5-7 minutes), add garlic clove and saute about 1 minute longer. Stir in pinto beans, green chilies, and hot sauce. Once all is warmed, remove from heat.
Meanwhile, fry the eggs in another skillet.
Warm the flour tortillas.
Pile some of the kale on each tortilla. Top with fried egg. Break yolk so it oozes over the kale and pinto beans. Top with more hot sauce. 
Fish with Tomatoes and Fennel
adapted from Food Everyday
allowing the fennel to caramelize brings out some of the natural sweetness and changes the flavor quite a bit from eating it raw.
1 cup couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, divided (or diced large tomatoes)
5-6 basil leaves, stacked, rolled and thin sliced (chiffonade cut)
2 large fish fillets (whitefish, halibut, bass, orange roughy, lake trout etc.)
fennel pesto (see recipe below)
Cook the couscous according to package.
In a medium sized skillet with olive oil, cook the fennel bulb over medium heat until beginning to caramelize (about 10 -12 minutes), stirring frequently. Adjust heat as needed so the fennel doesn’t char. 
Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes to the skillet. Stir and cook 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften. Nestle fish into the tomato mixture, season with salt and pepper and cover the skillet (if there is not enough moisture in the bottom of the pan add a tablespoon or two of water). When fish is fully cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, remove from heat (about 9-10 minutes).
To serve: place fluffed couscous on a plate, top with a 1/2 fillet of fish and tomato fennel mixture. Sprinle with a few of the raw tomatoes and basil leaves. Place a dollop of fennel pesto on top.
Fennel Pesto
I just can’t bare to throw away all those beautiful fronds and I can only garnish so many dishes with the slight taste of fresh fennel…so, I thought why not try a pesto! I’m pleased to report I’m very happy with the results (maybe even a new favorite recipe for the season).
This pesto goes great on the fish dish above. Also good as a quick side mixed in with leftover couscous, a little balsamic vin, diced tomatoes and basil! 
Fronds from 1 large fennel (remove the thick stems, just use the delicate fronds)
2 garlic cloves
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
In the bowl of a food processor, place the fennel fronds, garlic, and pecans. Pulse to combine. With the motor running, add lemon juice and enough olive oil to create a thick paste. Stir in parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. You may want to add more lemon juice or more parmesan cheese to your taste preference. 
Eggplant Parmesan
My husband will tell you he doesn’t like eggplant. I make this every summer at least 3 times, he eats it up like crazy and loves it. With eggplant, I think it’s a texture thing for some people who say they don’t like it. When cooked, it can become a bit soft/mushy (which is ok in a stew like ratatouille or caponata). In this dish, the eggplant remains firm and almost meaty-like (not sure that’s a proper culinary term, oh well.)
2 medium to large sized eggplants
Cut eggplants into thick slices, about 3/4 inch thick
about 2 cups Marinara Sauce, store bought or  homemade (see my recipe below)
1.5-2 cups mozzarella cheese (or other favorite cheese) shredded
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top
2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
Set up coating station: Remember to use one hand for the liquid and the other hand for dry ingredients to avoid coating you fingers also. 
  1. On a large plate, place approximately 1.5 cups flour
  2. In a pie pan wisk 2 eggs with a little bit of milk and a sprinkle of salt.
  3. Mix a bowl of Bread crumbs (about 1.5 cups), 1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano, 2 tsp fresh chopped basil, 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper (add more dried italian seasoning if desired).
Preheat broiler.
Dredge eggplant slices in flour, shaking off extra.  Place in egg mixture. Make sure to leave it in long enough to soak through a bit (about 10 seconds or so). Dredge in bread crumb mixture, making sure to coat top and bottom well. 
On a sprayed baking sheet place the coated eggplant slices under the broiler until golden brown (watch carefully as they go from golden to burnt very quickly) about 3 minutes. Flip and broil until both sides are golden brown. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
In a 9×13 pan spread about 1/4 cup tomato sauce on the bottom. Layer eggplant slices in a 9×13 pan slightly overlapping (if the eggplants were really large, you may want to use 2 pans).  Pour remaining sauce over the eggplant. Top with cheese and oregano
Bake 15-20 minutes until all is cooked through and cheese is bubbly. 
Marinara Sauce
I like to make a big batch of this. It lasts a week or two in the fridge and freezes well.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 qt. jars canned tomatoes, drained (or approximately 5 cups store bought canned diced tomatoes)
1 large sprig oregano (or dried 1-2 tsp to taste)
7 basil leaves, stacked rolled and thin sliced (chiffonade cut)
1 rind of parmesan cheese (I always save the rind and throw it in tomato based sauces or soups)
2 tsp sugar
salt and peper
Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 1-1 1/2 hours until thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove remaining rind and long stem from oregano (leaves should have fallen off). I like a somewhat pureed sauce with just a few tomato chunks, so I place my immersion blender in the pot an puree a bit. If you like a rustic chunky sauce, leave it as is. You could also add part or all to a blender or food processor. 
Melon Ball Lemonade
Though it’s true groundswell melons are pretty amazing when simply cut and eaten by themselves, I decided to add mine to lemonade and let it infuse for awhile. Lemonade has never tasted so good. Spike it if you want.
5 cups lemonade, fresh squeezed preferably, but the mix stuff works
1/2 melon, de-seeded and balled (if you don’t have a melon baller, just dice it)
1 lemon, sliced thin and quartered
1-2 cups Bacardi, optional (I like to use my own lemon balm infused bacardi for this or raspberry bacardi,  melon or limon Bicardi would be good options as well)
Combine all ingredients in a large container, stir well. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve on the rocks. 
Don’t throw the melon at the end of the pitcher!! Eat it up!
Basil Gimlet
Sooo much good basil right now, why not make a cocktail to go with all that pesto?! 
5-6 large basil leaves
1 1/2 ounces gin
juice of 1 lime
1/2 ounce simple syrup or 1 tsp sugar
Place 4 basil leaves in shaker (with granulated sugar if using): muddle a bit
Add rest of the ingredients and ice (omit simple syrup if using granulated sugar). Shake.
Pour into a glass and garnish with fresh basil leaf.
Dilly Beans!
adapted from Canning for a new generation
Green Beans, Dill, garlic, hot pepper, sour, salty…what’s not to love?! 
*NOTE: if you have not canned food before, please read more about it before starting the process. Though I give you a step by step guide below, I highly recommend the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving for beginners. This guide can be found at most grocery stores by the jars and canning equipment.
Please do not skip a step or adjust the ‘recipe proportions’.
The recipe may be cut in half or quartered to process 1 or 2 pint jars. 
Makes 4 pint jars 
Examine your jars to make sure there are no cracks, especially along the top rim. Use brand new lids only. 
1 3/4  lbs crisp green beans, ends trimmed, 4 1/2 inches long (make sure they are shorter than the jar by about 1/2 inch at least)
3 cups cider vinegar (5% acidity)
3 cups water
3 Tbsp kosher salt
4 sprigs dill, cut to fit in pint sized jar
4 cloves garlic, 
4 or 8 dried hot red chiles
Step 1: Wash, prepare beans, dill, garlic and red chilies and evenly divide into 4 piles. 
Step 2: PREPARE boiling water canner.
Step 3: Heat jars and lids in simmering water (approximately 180 degrees, do not place lids in full boiling water, this could ruin the seal) until ready for use.
Step 4: Remove bands and lids from simmering water and set aside on clean kitchen towel to dry.
Step 5: Combine the vinegar, water and kosher salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve heat. Turn down heat to simply keep warm. 
Step 6: Remove empty jars from the simmering water
Step 7: Working quickly,  pack 1 pile of the beans into the jars, standing them upright. put a sprig of dill, a clove of garlic, and 1-2 red chile(s) in each jar. 
Step 8: Ladle in the hot vinegar mixture, leaving 1/2 inch headspace from the top *make sure the beans are 1/2 below the top as well or this will prevent a good seal if the beans are pushing on the lid* 
Step 9: Use a sanitized skewer, knife or chopstick to remove air bubbles around the inside of the jar. 
Step 10: Use a damp clean towel or paper towel to wipe the rims of the jars.
Step 11: Place a flat lid in the center and ring on each jar, adjusting the ring so it’s just finger tight. 
Step 12: Return jars to to the water in the canning pot, making sure water covers them by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Cover. Process Jars 15 minutes. 
Step 13: Remove Jars and place on a clean kitchen towel. For some reason I place them upside down for the first few minutes (probably b/c that’s how I was taught to do it). Do not disturb for several hours, but make sure to check the lids after about 1 hour. If the lids can be pushed down and make a popping sound, the lids have not sealed and the jars should be placed in the fridge. Check the seals again the next morning to make sure the seals are down. 
Step 14: label and enjoy this winter! 
This entry was posted in basil, beets, canning, carrots, cauliflower, dairy free, dill, eggplant, fennel, green beans, green onion, kale, Preserving!, salad greens, summer squash / zucchini, tomato, vegan, vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink.

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