23 Sep

Mario Batali’s Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

Mario Batali’s Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

Serves 4 to 6

2 large eggplant, about 1 pound each
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
3 cups basic tomato sauce, warm (recipe follows, or use your favorite)
About 12 leaves fresh basil (from 1 small bunch)
3/4 to 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced about 1/8-inch-thick
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

Heat the oven to 450° F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.

Slice each eggplant into 6 disks about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. Brush both sides of each disk with olive oil, lightly season both sides with salt and pepper, and place evenly spaced on the lined baking sheets.

Roast the eggplant until the slices are tender throughout and lightly browned, about 30 minutes, flipping the slices once and rotating the pans top to bottom for even cooking. Check to see that the slices are tender by poking in a few places with a fork (if some slices are taking longer than others, you can remove the tender ones to a plate and continue roasting the rest).

Lower the oven temperature to 350° F. Scoot all of the smallest eggplant pieces to one of the same lined baking sheets, and on the other, place the 6 largest eggplant slices, evenly spaced.

Over each slice, spread a scant 1/4 cup of tomato sauce and sprinkle with a couple leaves of basil (torn into a few pieces if very large). Place one slice of mozzarella over each and sprinkle with about a teaspoon grated Parmigiano. Place a smaller slice of eggplant over each of the disks and repeat with tomato sauce, basil, and the 2 cheeses.

Bake uncovered until the cheese is well-melted, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the breadcrumbs over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt until golden and crisp, stirring often. Set aside until the eggplant is ready, then sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs over the top of the eggplant, and serve immediately.

Basic tomato sauce:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 Spanish onion, 1/4-inch dice 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced Salt 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried 1/2 medium carrot, finely grated 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer until as thick as oatmeal, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with more salt to taste. This sauce keeps 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

12 Sep

Corn, Black Beans, and Tomato Stuffed Pattypan Squash

Corn, Black Beans, and Tomato Stuffed Pattypan Squash

Serves 5
Ingredients:

3 large pattypan squash
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
2 ears corn, kernels cut off
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Put the squash in a large pot with about 1 inch of water. Cover pot, bring water to a boil, and let the squash steam until they begin to get tender (about 7 min). Remove squash from pot and let them cool. Once they’ve cooled, cut off stems and scoop out as much of the inside of each squash as possible. Roughly chop the scooped out squash and set it aside.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Saute onion until it’s tender, and then add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir in chopped squash, beans, corn, tomatoes, and spices and cook for a few minutes. Place the squash shells into a large baking dish and stuff them with the bean mixture. Top each squash with a pinch of cheese. You will likely have tons of the bean mixture left, so pour this into the dish around the squash shells or bake it in a separate dish. Bake at 350 for 20 min.

25 Aug

Tomato Salad on a Roll

4 servings

This sandwich, a delight of summer, is a cross between the pan bagnat from Nice and the Catalan tomato bread with anchovy. And it’s dead simple. Tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, capers, anchovy and basil. A splash of red wine vinegar. This sandwich comes together quickly, but the ingredients need to stay inside the loaf for at least an hour. That way, the juicy tomatoes and all the tasty aromatics permeate the bread in a soggy, heavenly way. Eat it outside.

Ingredients

1 pound ripe tomatoes, in assorted colors and sizes
Salt & pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and roughly chopped, optional
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Pinch red pepper flakes
12 basil leaves
A few tender parsley leaves
4 fresh French rolls or a long baguette

Preparation

Cut larger tomatoes in thick slices or wedges and smaller ones into halves, and put them in a salad bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the garlic, anchovies (if using), capers, olive oil, vinegar, pepper flakes and half the basil, torn or chopped. Gently toss with the tomatoes and leave for 5 or 10 minutes.
Split the rolls or baguette lengthwise. Spoon tomato salad and its juices onto bottom of each roll (or bottom half of the baguette). Lay a few basil and parsley leaves over tomatoes. Replace tops and press lightly. If using baguette, cut crosswise into 4 pieces.
Cover sandwiches with a clean dish towel and wait for an hour or so before serving.

18 Aug

Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups

Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
2 large zucchini or yellow squash, about 12 inches long
2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil (may need more, depending on your pan)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 green pepper, finely chopped
2 T finely minced fresh garlic
1 lb. ground beef
12 oz. ground turkey
(use any combination of ground meat you’d like
1-2 tsp. seasoning of your choice….fresh herbs are preferred
salt and pepper to taste
2 C flavorful tomato-basil pasta sauce
2 cups mozzarella or other mild white cheese

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Chop onion and green pepper. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a non-stick pan, then sauté onion and pepper for 3-4 minutes, until just starting to soften. Add minced garlic and sauté about 1 minute more, being careful not to brown the garlic. Remove the onion, pepper, and
Remove the onion, pepper, and garlic mixture to a bowl.

Add 2 tsp. more olive oil to the pan. Crumble in the ground beef and ground turkey, season selection of herbs, salt, pepper and cook over medium heat until the meat is well browned. Tilt pan to see if there is any extra fat, and remove with a spoon if there is, then stir cooked vegetables and garlic back into the meat. Add tomato sauce and simmer until the mixture has thickened and liquid has cooked off, about 10 minutes, then turn off heat.

While meat cools, cut zucchini into 2 inch thick slices, discarding ends. Use a sharp spoon or melon baller to hollow out a cup in each zucchini slice, leaving just over 1/4 inch of zucchini flesh. Be careful not to get too close to the skin or the cups will leak liquid when they cook.

Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray and stand up zucchini cups, open end up. Stir 1 1/2 cups grated cheese into the cooled meat mixture (it doesn’t need to be completely cool), then spoon the meat-cheese mixture into zucchini cups, pressing down with the spoon and mounding it up a little over the top of the zucchini.

Bake zucchini cups for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and use remaining cheese to top each one with a generous pinch of cheese. Put back in oven and bake 10-15 minutes more, until zucchini is slightly soft when pierced with a fork and cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

13 Aug

Salad Primavera

Serving Size: 8

Ingredients

• 1 Cup Basmati Rice
• 8 oz Flavored Tofu, drained and diced
• 2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
• 4 Green Onions, chopped
• 1/2 Orange or Yellow Bell Pepper, diced
• 1 Cucumber, peeled, quartered and sliced
• 1 Yellow or Green Summer Squash, diced
• 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
• 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
• 1/2 Cup Olive Oil

Instructions
1. In a medium sauce pan bring two cups of water and the rice to boiling. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is fluffy.
2. Remove the rice from the heat. Cool and transfer to a large serving bowl.
3. Add tofu, tomatoes, green onion, bell pepper, cucumber, and squash to the rice and stir to combine.
4. In a blender or small bowl with whisk, quickly blend together the vinegar, mustard and olive oil to create and emulsion dressing.
5. Drizzle the dressing over the rice mixture and toss to combine.
6. Serve and Enjoy!

 

18 Jul

Roasted Garlic & Tomato Bruschetta

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1 garlic head, whole
3 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium tomato, diced
¼ cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
12 slices baguette, 1/2-inch thick

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the top 1/3 off of the garlic head, exposing cloves. Place on foil; drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over the head of garlic and sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper. Wrap with foil. Bake in preheated oven 1 hour or until tender. Let cool.
2. Meanwhile, combine tomato, basil, 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste in medium bowl; set aside.
3. Squeeze garlic out of skins. Mix garlic, cream cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese in a small bowl; set aside
4. Arrange bread slices on baking sheet; spread garlic cream cheese mixture over one side of each slice; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Bake in preheated 350°F oven 12 minutes or until golden brown. Top with tomato mixture and remaining cheese.

08 Oct

Garden News – October 8, 2015

It has been so enjoyable working out in the garden this week.  The weather has been fantastic…not too hot, not to cold.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will continue for the next couple of weeks so things have a chance to ripen up before the first hard frost.  Looking good so far!

I am trying to decide what I want to plant in the greenhouse for the winter.  The restaurant sales continue to increase, but I only have so much room.  I don’t know if I had mentioned to you that I have applied for a grant through NRDC for a high tunnel.  I will know whether I am approved in early spring, which doesn’t help  me for this season, but it will allow me to extend my growing later into the fall/winter next year, and even grow some winter greens when the cold weather hits. I would then be able to offer early CSA shares for Spring, and late shares for Fall.   It will certainly be a learning experience, but I am really looking forward to being able to provide more food.

We are coming to a close for this season.  There will be one more week for those of you who have full shares and those who purchased half shares that started on week one.  I am hoping that the weather stays nice which will allow those with half shares that started on week two to come on the 22nd, otherwise everyone will have to come on the 15th.  I will let you know….it all depends on whether we get a freeze or not.  There will be a plethora of veggies for your last share.  All of the heavy veggies…winter squash, cabbage, root veggies and whatever else needs to be brought in.   Anyway….there will be lots!

This week take advantage of the tomatoes as there will be boxes full. The herbs like basil are not liking the cold nights, so this weeks harvest is small and will be the last picking.  I will have sage and parsley  for you the last week….that way you will have some herbs for your holiday turkey.

This week’s share will include, beautiful peppers, leaf lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, the last of the green beans, eggplant (finally!), and Swiss chard.

I am including some great recipes to use some of the produce in this week’s share.  I hope you enjoy them.

Grilled Eggplant with Tomato-Caper Salsa

These thick slices of eggplant double as delicious grilled steaks. Combined with the tomato-caper salsa, this is a unique meal with bright flavors that are sure to please any pallet.

Serving Size: 6

Ingredients

  • 6  Eggplants
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, plus a little extra
  • 2 lbs. Tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • 2 Teaspoons Capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon Sherry Vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat.
  2. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into steaks and brush with olive oil.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, basil, shallots, capers and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Grill the eggplant steaks for five minutes on each side; they should be fork tender with dark score marks.
  5. Arrange on a plate and top with tomato-caper salsa!

I make lots of Ratatouille every year and freeze it!  It’s a great way to use up all of those “last out of the garden” veggies.  I use it in lots of ways…over pasta, added to soups, in omelets.  You are only limited by your imagination!

Ratatouille

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1 pound eggplant, sliced in rounds
1 pound zucchini, sliced in rounds
1 pound bell peppers, sliced
1 pound tomatoes, peeled and quartered
3 onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Olive oil
Bay leaf
Thyme sprig
Salt and pepper

Directions

Wash and slice all of the vegetables. To peel the tomatoes drop them in boiling water for about 10 seconds and use a sharp paring knife to help slip off the peel.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the sliced eggplant and cook, turning occasionally for five minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and remove the eggplant from the skillet.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and add the zucchini slices. Cook for about five minutes, turning occasionally, then season with salt and pepper and remove from the skillet.
Repeat the procedure for the bell peppers.
Heat 2 more tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes.
Add the tomatoes and the pre-cooked vegetables: eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers. Stir to combine and then add the bay leaf and thyme. Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
Add the garlic and salt and pepper if needed and cook covered for another 10 minutes.

Green Beans and Carrots Parmesan

Serves: 4

Ingredients

4 carrots, cut into 3″ matchstick
8-10 ounces fresh green beans
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
1. Place a steamer basket in a large pot with 2″ of water.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat.
3. Place the carrots and green beans in the basket and steam for about 10 minutes, or until tender.
4. Drain and toss with the oil.
5. Place in a serving dish and sprinkle with the cheese.