Wednesday, September 15, 2010

String Beans and Shallots

String Beans with Shallots
(from Barefoot Contessa "Family Style")

1 pound French string beans (haricots verts), ends removed
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon good olive oil
3 large shallots, large-diced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Blanch the string beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 1/2 minutes.
Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.
Heat the butter and oil in a very large saute pan (12-inch diameter) or large pot
and saute the shallots on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until
lightly browned. Drain the string beans and add to the shallots with 1/2 teaspoon
salt and the pepper, tossing well. Heat only until the beans are hot.

(*Note: If using regular string beans, blanch for about 3 minutes, until they're

Thank you, Ronda!

Cabbage Ideas

3 Easy Ways to Prepare Both Green and Red Cabbage:

Chop the cabbage in half, cut into wedged chunks, and steam. Salt and serve.

Chop cabbage head in half. Using a very sharp knife, thinly slice long shreds of cabbage. Sprinkle sea salt liberally over shreds. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage shreds until it all becomes tender. Alternatively, let salt sit on cabbage overnight to tenderize it.

One way I like to flavor this cabbage once it is tender is with olive oil, cumin powder, cumin seeds, and lime juice (if I have it). Makes a great salad addition to Taco Night!

Thinly sliced cabbage can be sauteed in hot olive/ coconut/ peanut/ or sesame oil. Consider adding garlic, onions, carrots, peppers, parsley into the saute pan for a hot salad or as a tasty pairing with soba noodles.

More flavor options to add to this dish include: peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, cilantro, Bragg's Amino acids, apple cider vinegar, and sesame seeds.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Alice Water's Lentil Salad

from SERVINGS: Four
1 cup lentils (French green lentils or black Beluga lentils are the best varieties to use for lentil salads because they have lots of flavor and they hold their shape when cooked.)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Fresh-ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions or
3 tablespoons finely diced shallot
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. Sort and rinse the lentils. Cover with water by 3 inches and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until tender all the way through (adding more water if necessary), about 30 minutes. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

2. Toss the lentils with the red wine vinegar, salt, and fresh-ground black pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt and vinegar if needed.

3. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, scallions or shallot, and parsley. Stir to combine. If the lentils seem dry and are hard to stir, loosen them with a bit of the reserved cooking liquid.

Add 1/2 cup diced cucumber.

Dice very fine 1/4 cup each of carrot, celery, and onion. Cook until tender in a couple spoonfuls of olive oil. Cool and stir into the salad in place of the scallions or shallots.

Garnish with 1/2 cup crumbled goat or feta cheese.

Toast and crush 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds and add to the salad. Substitute cilantro for the parsley.

Dice 1/4 cup flavorful sweet peppers, season with salt, and let stand to soften. Stir in with the scallions or shallots.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Zucchini and Fenugreek Seeds

Zucchini and Fenugreek Seeds
Serves four
6 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 fresh green chilies, finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped fresh gingerroot
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp chili powder
1 lb/450 g zucchini, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
2 tsp fenugreek seeds
chopped cilantro, to garnish

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottom skillet. Add the onion, green chilies, ginger, and chili powder, stirring well until mixed.

Add the sliced zucchini and tomatoes to the skillet and stir-fry for 5-7 minutes.

Add the fenugreek seeds to the zucchini mixture in the skillet and stir-fry for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the zucchini and fenugreek seed mixture to serving dishes. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Farmer's Zuppa Toscana

Contributed by Marco Ascoli...

- Tuscan Bread (2-3 days old)
- Kidney Beans 300 g (or a can for the shortcut)
- Olive Oil (extra virgin), 40 g
- Water, 1 litro
- Savory Cabbage (the one with wrinkly leaves) , 1/4 of a ball
- Tuscan Black Kale, as much as or more than the savory cabbage
- A bunch of chard (I find this optional)
- 1 Onion
- 1 Leek
- 2 small potatoes (I find this optional)
- 2 carrots
- 2 Zucchini (green!)
- 1 full Celery stalk
- Optional pork back fat or Prosciutto skin (what is cut out before slicing it)
- Garlic
- Parsley
- Tomato paste (concentrated) or Tomato canned chopped or whole (avoid any sort that has "freshness" ingredients like calcium chloride and citric acid, they just do not taste right)


Put the beans in a bowl well covered with water for about 8 hrs, then boil them in 2 liters of water for 2 hrs. In a pot lightly brown an onion sliced thin or minced with the prosciutto skin if that's the case, add 1 by 1 the other vegetables coarsely cut and let them mush-out (become mushy or loose their rigidity) for about 10 minutes, add most of the boiling water of the beans and half of the beans. The other half of the beans need to be processed/blended, add this blend to the pot. Adjust salt and pepper let simmer for about 2 hrs. At this point you can make layers of sliced toasted bread and soup in a large bowl or in alternative just add the sliced bread toasted in the pot, mix and then simmer for 10 more minutes.
Let rest and serve with just a line of extra-virgin olive oil and ultra-thin sliced onion if you like.
It is best served the second or third day.
Keep in refrigerator.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Raw Kale Salad

The kale is in full swing! Ever enjoy a raw wilted kale salad?
There's two reasons I love this salad:
1- It lasts for a week or more in the fridge.
2- It brings out kale's full tenderness and flavor without cooking it.

Bunch of Kale, chopped
1 lemon, squeezed over kale
1 tsp - 1 TBS Sea Salt
1 TBS - 1/4 cup Olive Oil

Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl, using the smaller amount of salt and oil to begin. With your hands, massage the lemon, salt, and olive oil into the kale. This combination of ingredients actually breaks down the kale so that it becomes tender. Keep on rubbing into the kale. If it doesn't seem to be tenderizing, add more salt and olive oil. Smoosh between hands until the kale is a dark green glistening color. Voila! Now you have a raw kale salad!

This can be eaten deliciously as is, or it can be added to.
Tasty add-ins: tomatoes, beans, avocado, green peas, fresh lettuce, feta cheese, olives, shredded cabbage, garlic scapes, pine nuts, radishes, ect.

For more flavor, consider chopping in parsley, oregano, and basil.

~Feedback from Ingrid 07/17/10:
I just tried this and it is delicious. I added avocado, cucumber and grape 
tomatoes. I would recommend using 1/2 a lemon to start if you have a small
bunch of kale- the farm share. I will be serving this with grilled salmon,
so the extra tartness is ok, but I'm not sure it is to everyone's taste.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Raspberry Roasted Zucchini Salad

This salad has four main parts:
1. Base of Spinach with Parsley and Dill chopped in
2. Roasted Zucchini
3. Roasted Tofu
4. Raspberries, Goat Cheese, Dressing, and Thyme on top

How to do each:
1. Wash and chop the spinach and herbs, arrange as a base on the plates.
2. Roasted Zucchini can be made ahead of time. Slice zucchini rounds about 1/3 inch thick. Toss them with balsamic vinegar, tahini, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Bake in the oven at 425 until they are browned and roasted. Maybe 30 minutes?

3. Roasted Tofu: Chop a 1 lb block of firm tofu into cubes. Marinate those cubes overnight in a dressing- I used miso ginger. Make a 'bread crumb' mix of 1/3 cup sunflower seeds and 1/3 cup kasha grain (roasted buckwheat) by grinding or cracking the seed and grain together (coffee grinder of high power blender). After it's marinated, drain the tofu and roll it around in the 'bread crumb' mixture. Bake at 400 or so for about 30 minutes until it's golden brown.

~Local raspberries, picked fresh. There's lots of black raspberries growing in Stafford right now.
~Bush Meadow farms has awesome goat cheese for sale on Rt 190 between the farm and 84.
~Fresh thyme is plucked and sprinkled all over the salad
~To make the dressing, combine in a jar with a top: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, orange juice, honey, dried thyme, sea salt. Shake it up and pour over that salad!

Put all these exciting things on top of the greens and enjoy!