Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Eggplant Three Ways

I love eggplant. And now that it’s peaking its season, I have loads of it in my refrigerator. As a CSA member, you probably do, too, and eggplant seems to be on few people’s Top 10 list of Favorite Vegetables.

This Creative Commons Licensed photo taken by hopemcg

This Creative Commons Licensed photo taken by hopemcg

Here are three recipes that use eggplant and several other late summer crops, listed from easiest to most complicated.

Pasta with Eggplant & Cream Sauce

This recipe is a modification of a dish I make quite often using mushrooms; last week I made it with eggplant and it was delicious!

Saute chopped onion and garlic over medium heat in olive oil until starting to brown. Add slices of eggplant and saute about 5 minutes or until eggplant is starting to become tender. Add some red wine (about 1/4 – 1/2 cup?) and continue cooking. Throw in chopped herbs (such as basil, oregano and thyme) and add oil if necessary. When eggplant is completely cooked, make space in the middle of the pan and melt about 1/8 cup butter. Add half and half (or just milk) and stir constantly with a whisk while cream thickens into a delicious sauce. (This will take 2-4 minutes) Add 1/2 shredded parmesan or other cheese and continue whisking until incorporated. Add cracked pepper to taste and serve sauce over your favorite pasta.

Eggplant Curry

I’ve only made this dish once, but it was quite tasty.

  • Coconut milk
  • 1 can chick peas
  • 2 cups bok choy
  • 4-6 shiitake mushroom
  • bell pepper
  • eggplant, sliced (leave skin on)
  • carrot, sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • canola oil

Stir-fry curry paste for a little bit, then add 1/2 can of coconut milk and stir. Add the vegetables that require the longest cooking time. Stir until boiling. Cook for a few minutes.

Add another can coconut milk plus the bell pepper, eggplant, and beans. Cover and cook for another few minutes. Add broccoli and bok choy. Cook till done. serve with rice or couscous

Prep Time: About 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes, if you cook the couscous while prepping

Ratatouille with quinoa

Words can not express how much I love making ratatouille with farm/garden-fresh herbs and veggies. If you leave out the grain, this dish can be made with ingredients I typically grow out my back door (or with what fills a CSA box this time of year)

I think we should add a new season in late summer, and call it Ratatouille Season.

  • 1 1/2 cups cubed peeled eggplant (last year I grew Louisiana Long Green Eggplant, which has a milder flavor than the ‘traditional’ purple ones) This is equal to one large purple eggplant, and about 3 of the louisiana greens.
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium cucumbers, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (you can also use zucchini, or a combination of the two)
  • A handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • Another handful fresh oregano, chopped
  • Crushed black pepper and bragg’s amino acids, to taste
  • 4 or 5 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato sauce (Arthur prefers it without the tomato paste)
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave at HIGH 8 minutes.  (If you’re microwave averse, you’ll just have to cook the eggplant separately or adjust the dish accordingly)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and cucumber (and whatever other veggies you like, such as bell pepper); sauté 8 minutes or until onion is tender. Add eggplant mixture, basil, and next 5 ingredients (basil through tomato sauce) to pan; cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve over couscous; sprinkle with cheese.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup stew, 3/4 cup couscous, and 2 tablespoons cheese)

Viva l’aubergine!

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Cindy’s Peach Cobbler

This weekend we invited friends and family over to the house to celebrate Independence Day. Large gatherings are also an excellent opportunity to share lots of food, including the heads and heads of lettuce we still have in the refrigerator from the CSA boxes and our garden.

Yes, it was bad planning to have lettuce at the same time as our CSA share; I must remember to plant the lettuce as soon as possible (hello, cold frames!) So they’re out of the garden before the shares start.

In any case, the bbq was a smashing success and a great time with friends and family. This weekend also marked my first trip to the farmer’s market this year (where I scored the last of the asparagus for the season) This post is for sharing one of the dishes we shared at the bbq; I’ll write in a separate post about the farmer’s market.

This recipe is in anticipation of the fruit shares that will be starting soon and the Colorado peaches that are showing up in markets. This peach cobbler is unique…it’s more cake-like than a lot of cobblers I’ve eaten, and is not at all like the fruit on the bottom/crispy crumbly top cobbler that people seem to expect. However, it is delicious. I got the recipe twelve years ago from a dear friend who is no longer in my life and it’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

Cindy’s Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup unsalted butter (usually 1 stick)
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 T baking powder
1 t vanilla
1 can peaches or several fresh peaches (I put as many slices as can fit in the pan)

Melt butter and pour into bottom of 8 inch square baking dish. I use an old glass dish that resists sticking. Combine flour, sugar, milk, baking power and vanilla in mixing bowl and stir until combined (small lumps are okay) Pour this mixture onto the butter in the pan, but don’t mix. Add drained peach slices (or fresh peach slices) with fork, making just one layer of peaches in the pan.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes, until top is golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and serve warm. You can add a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream for extra yumminess.

This recipe is easy to double; I’ve also played around with the kind of sweetner and amount of butter. Feel free to experiment, but this is a tried and true winner, every time.

PS – for those of you concerned about the amount of butter I use to cook (hi, mom!) I just had my cholesterol levels checked, and I rang in at 166. So I’m not worried, and neither should you be. 🙂

Greens and Beans

A common challenge this time of season is what to do with all the kale that keeps showing up in our CSA box. Our farm grows two kinds of kale – the standard curly edge kind, and Tuscan kale, which has narrower leaves and has a bluer tint.

Prior to being a CSA member, my only exposure to kale was when I worked at Ruby Tuesday’s, where kale is used as a garnish on almost every dish. The kale is washed with mayonnaise-water prior to use to help turn the leaves a dark green. I have washed so much kale in mayonnaise water that I can still smell it. (gross)

There are a few restaurants in town that serve steamed kale, and despite my attempts at liking this stong-flavored green, I hadn’t found a way to eat kale that I enjoyed. My strategy thus far has been to give it away as much as possible.

So last night, with another two bundles of kale in my refrigerator, I decided to try the Tuscan kale with beans for a simple yet wholesome meal. And it was delicious! Here’s what I did:

Greens and Beans

Heat a can of pinto beans in saucepan; add cumin. In separate pan, saute a small amount of garlic in olive oil. Add rinsed and chopped kale to pan, stirring to prevent sticking. Add a small amount of bragg’s amino acids to the pan and cover with a lid. Saute kale until dark green and tender, but don’t overcook. Remove from heat and add a bit of lemon juice.

When beans are hot, drain water and add to bowl; shred a little mild-flavored cheese on top and add the greens to the bowl.

The light flavor of the pintos did a great job of balancing the strong flavor of the kale. mmmm!

Rhubarb Rhubarb Rhubarb!

This week’s boxes looked fairly similar to last week’s, except for the awesome additions of garlic scapes (the tops they snip off to help the bulbs grow), collard greens, and fresh basil.

In the last two weeks, we’ve gotten a few handfuls of rhubarb. My grandmother grew rhubarb and we planted some in our garden last year, but I’ve never quite tackled the problem of exactly what to do with rhubarb. Or collard greens, for that matter. So last night for dinner, we cooked up the collards first and then made a delicious strawberry rhubarb crumble for dessert.

But first, did you know that rhubarb is one of the earliest spring vegetables to be ready to eat? And that, although the leaves are toxic, the stems and roots have been eaten for thousands of years? Also, rhubarb stalks are pink, red, white and green, although red are the most commonly seen in grocery stores? Read more about rhubarb on wikipedia.

Here’s a very easy recipe I found for vegetarian collard greens. My housemate added bragg’s amino acids instead of salt, but between that and the miso, it was a tad on the too-salty side. But still, the collards were tender and flavorful.
Vegetarian Collard Greens

2 lbs collard greens
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1. Wash greens well, submerging in a sink full of cold water to remove any dirt and grit. Drain well. Cut off the stems right where the leaf starts. Stack about 5-8 leaves on top of each other, then roll lengthwise. Cut rolled up leaves into 1″ slices width-wise. Repeat until all the greens are done, and add to a large pot.  (note: I’m not sure how this was actually done at my house, but the strips were WAY too long. I recommend cutting them in half widthwise before chopping them in this way)

2. Add all other ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes or until greens are extremely tender. Serve hot, using a slotted spoon to drain the liquid from the greens.

And, finally, Rhubarb! I found this recipe online, and slightly modified it; my altered recipe is below. It’s so exciting that we also used strawberries out of our own garden.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

For the topping:
1 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
Zest of one lemon
1/2 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 quart strawberries plus a few extras, hulled, quartered
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare topping: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugars and lemon zest and add the melted butter. Mix until small and large clumps form. Refrigerate until needed.

2. Prepare filling: Toss rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.

3. Remove topping from refrigerator and cover fruit thickly and evenly with topping. Place pie plate on a (foil-lined, if you really want to think ahead) baking sheet, and bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling beneath, about 40 to 50 minutes.

photo from smittenkitchen.com, visit their great site!

photo from smittenkitchen.com, visit their great site!

additional notes: Be prepared; the filling sticks to the pan. I’m not sure how to remedy this problem just yet, but it might include more butter. Also, I reduced the sugar from the original recipe because we wanted to retain the tartness of the rhubarb without being overly sweet.  Also, we live at 5,300 ft elevation, and I always adjust the oven temperature to -25 degrees from any baking recipe. I don’t make any other adjustments, and the temp shift seems to work great.

Today, we’re attempting to make lemon rhubarb ginger jam. I’ll let you all know how it went.

Enjoy your farm fresh veggies!

Holy Greens, Batman!

This week’s share box included several kinds of yummy greens, including spinach, kale and my personal favorite, butter lettuce.

I have a confession to make. Although I’ve been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for six years, I really don’t like raw salads. I know, crazy!?! It’s especially unnerving when restaurant servers insist on recommending salads first for vegetarians. I prefer foods that are warm and flavorful to a raw salad any day.

Growing up, we hardly ever ate raw salad, and it was usually a standard mix of iceberg lettuce, carrot shards, cucumber slices and, you guessed it, ranch dressing. Can I even begin to explain how much I hated it?

However, raw salads and greens ARE very nutritious, and one major problem we’ve had each year of the CSA is finding ways to consume several heads of lettuce (along with all the other greens) each week. I can saute spinach and give away kale until the cows come home (yes, really, I can’t stand kale, it’s so sad), but there’s only so much I can seem to figure out with lettuce greens.

Imagine my happiness at finally discovering a raw salad combination that I absolutely love. I can eat this salad twice (or three) times a week, easily. It seems so strange, but trust me, this is delicious. The portions described are for one big salad, so adjust accordingly:

Butter Lettuce and Apple Salad

1/2 head of butter lettuce or other greens (I would guess 4-5 cups of greens when torn into forkable pieces)
1/2 Avocado, cubed
1/2 Apple, cubed (you can also use pear)
2 handfuls of walnuts, chopped (maybe 1/2 cup?)
Shredded Gruyere or other similar Swiss cheese
Ginger sesame dressing of choice (I really like Annie’s Sesame Ginger with Chamomile Vinaigrette)

I find that adding the shredded Gruyere after tossing the dressing in keeps the cheese from just clumping together.  Pears tend to be more watery in the salad, so be sure you drain/spin the greens well after washing.

I made this salad yesterday with my first fresh lettuce of the season. Even though I soaked the lettuce for at least 10 minutes in a bowl full of cold water and then rinsed A LOT, I still had some grit in my salad. (Now you know how I came to name this blog) Therefore, don’t forget to soak and/or rinse your farm fresh veggies, and enjoy the spring greens!