Monday, November 23, 2009

CSA, Weeks 22-24 - Recipes, News and Adieus

The season has finally come to an end, and what a season it was! Near-perfect growing conditions, a fantastic group of CSA members, and a bountiful harvest made this year one of my favorites yet. This past week we had our last CSA drop of the year, wrapping up the harvest just in time for the first (albeit light) snowfall. With the Thanksgiving holiday being a time for gathering family and friends, I have some great recipes to share as inspiration for the many meals sure to be enjoyed this week...

A Fancier Version of Potato Leek Soup (compliments of Martha Stewart Living)


Serves 6 to 8.

  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary, or 2 teaspoons crushed dried rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 6 leeks, white parts only, washed well, thinly sliced
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 cups (6 C. for thicker soup) Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Make a bouquet garni: First wrap bay leaves, rosemary, parsley, and peppercorns in a piece of cheesecloth. Then tie with a piece of kitchen twine, and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil and butter in a medium stockpot. Add celery, leeks, shallots, and garlic; cook on medium-low heat until very soft, about 45 minutes, stirring only occasionally. Do not brown. Add potatoes, stock, and reserved bouquet garni. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook until potatoes are very tender, about 40 minutes. Remove bouquet garni, and discard.
  3. Working in batches, pass half of the soup through a food mill, fitted with a medium disk, into a large saucepan. Add remaining chunky soup. Place the saucepan on medium-low heat to warm soup. Slowly stir in milk and cream, and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Still have a plethora of carrots and some lingering chile peppers? Give this recipe a try!

Glazed Carrots with Ginger and Chiles (also compliments of Martha Stewart Living)
serves 12

2 C. water
6 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. salt
2 lbs. carrots, quartered and cut to about 3"
3 Tbs. peeled, minced fresh ginger
1 serrano or other chile pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced thin
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring water, butter, honey, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add carrots, ginger, and chile pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, 5-7 minutes. Transfer carrots and pan juices to a serving dish, and toss with fresh parsley. Serve warm.

Squash and Potato Enchiladas with Mole Sauce (from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons)
(A winter favorite of ours!)
serves 4

1 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tsp. dried
1 tsp. salt, plus more to season at end
12 tsp. fresh-ground pepper
1 1/2 lbs. medium potatoes (about 3), cut into 1/2" cubes
1 1/2 lbs. winter squash, cut in half and seeded
1 chile pepper (serrano or jalapeno), chopped - I like to use chiles packed in chipotle sauce for a smoky flavor...
1 C. chopped onion
1-2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 C. almond slivers, toasted lightly in a skillet or toaster oven
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
Large can of tomato sauce (Muir Glen brand is great-tasting, but homemade is best if you have it!)
1/2 C. water
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 10" flour tortillas
1 1/2 C. grated cheddar, pepper-jack, or monterey jack cheese (optional)
4 Tbs. sour cream (optional)

note: This recipe doesn't call for chocolate in the mole sauce, but I've added a Tbs. of shaved bittersweet or dark chocolate to the sauce for added depth and naughtiness with great results!

Preheat oven to 350'F. Bake winter squash according to the directions given in the previous blog entry. Meanwhile, gently boil potatoes until just tender (do not over cook). Drain and set potatoes aside. Remove cooked squash from skins and slice or mash the squash for layering in the tortillas later.

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet, sauteing the onion, garlic, almonds, and oregano for about 5 minutes. Add cinnamon and cloves, sauteing for another 2 min. Add tomato sauce and chile peppers (and chocolate, if desired) and cook mixture over medium heat for 5 min., stirring occasionally. Add the water and blend well. Season the sauce wth 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper to taste. Add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to thicken the sauce, if desired. Let mixture cool, then puree in a blender or food processor.

Preheat oven to 400'F. Fill each tortilla with about an 1/8th of the potatoes and squash. Add a little grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream to each tortillas before rolling tightly. I also like to add a spoonful of cooked black beans to each tortilla. Fit the 8 tortillas in a casserole dish. Pour the mole sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle with a little more cheese, if desired, and perhaps some chopped green onions. Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 min., or until the sauce and cheese are bubbling. Remove foil and place under the broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese a little, if necessary.

Winter Squash and Cheese Panade (from the Relish insert of the newspaper)
serves 12
You can bake this in a large casserole dish or in individual bowls or ramekins. A chewy, artisan-style bread is recommended.

10 (1/2" thick) slices artisan-style multigrain or whole wheat bread
2 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 lb. winter squash (use one of the larger types, not the small ones), peeled and cut into 1" cubes
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp. dried
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
1 1/4 tsp. salt
coarsely ground black pepper
4 C. homemade or canned reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 C. grated gruyere or Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350'F. Tear bread into 1/2-1" pieces and bake until crisp, stirring once, 10-12 min.

Increase oven temp. to 400'F. Combine onion and squash in a large bowl. Add oil, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Toss well. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until onions begin to brown and squash is fork tender, 22-25 min.

Coat a 13 x 9" baking dish or 12 (1-cup) or 6 (2-cup) oven-proof serving bowls lightly with oil or cooking spray. Place bread in a single layer in the bottom of pan. Distribute half the squash mixture over bread. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Repeat layers.

Slowly pour in 2 C. broth over top, allowing bread to soak up broth and pressing with the back of a spoon. Add remaining broth until it reaches about 1 inch below the pan's rim.

Reduce oven temp. to 375'F. Cover pan with foil and place it on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 35-45 min., until bubbling, puffed and golden brown. Let stand 5 min. before serving.

And, of course, a recipe for the perfect buttermilk mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner....

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes (from Cook's Illustrated)
serves 12

6 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
salt to taste
2 sticks plus 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 C. buttermilk, at room temperature
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place potatoes in large Dutch oven; add cold water and cover by 1 inch. Add 2 Tbs. salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes break apart when paring knife is inserted, about 18 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan set on the still-hot burner.

Using potato masher, mash spuds until a few small lumps remain. Gently mix melted butter and room-temp. buttermilk in a small bowl until combined. Add buttermilk mixture to potatoes; using rubber spatula, gently fold in mixture until just incorporated. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; serve immediately.

Well, folks, a happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Many thanks from me to you for a wonderful year on the farm.
I'll be in touch!

Friday, October 23, 2009

CSA Recipes: Weeks 19 - 21

How to Bake Winter Squash (if you didn’t already know…):

a. Wash exterior. With a sharp, large knife, cut the squash in half from the stem side to the underside.

b. Place each half face-down on a lightly-oiled baking sheet or dish, and bake uncovered in a pre-heated 350-375’F oven on the highest shelf possible for 45-55 minutes, or until the skins have begun to collapse and the flesh is completely tender (a knife goes all the way through). If you need to bake it faster, you can cut the squash into thirds or quarters, place them face up in an oiled baking dish, cover with foil and bake in the oven following the above directions, only it will take less time (35-45 minutes).

Our varieties are dry, sweet, and dense….wonderful as a baked side dish to pesto-based pastas, roasts, baked chicken or fish. Also delicious cooked in soups, or sliced thinly (once baked) on homemade pizza crust (though a pre-made does make it a lot easier!) brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh or dried sage, thyme, or other favorite herbs for a light pizza.

Potato Curry with Sesame Seeds

Serves 4

4 large potatoes, scrubbed but with skins on

1 Tbs canola oil

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp coriander seeds

4 tsp mustard seeds

4 Tbs sesame seeds

1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp chopped fresh chile, or 1/2 tsp dried

4 tsp finely grated lemon rind

4 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Boil the potatoes until tender. Cool, and chop into chunks. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over medium heat. Cook the cumin, coriander, and mustard seeds for 1 minute, stirring constantly (if you have a grease screen, this comes in handy to prevent seeds from bouncing out of the pan – if not, a pizza pan works, too)
  2. Add sesame seeds; cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring until golden brown. Add the turmeric, chiles, potatoes, lemon rind and juice. Stir until well combined and heated through. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

This dish is excellent with a yogurt raita (i.e. plain yogurt with radish, green onion, dried or fresh mint, ground cumin, salt, and a dash of cayenne…you can get creative), some warm pita bread and fresh greens.

Arugula Pesto

Makes 1 Cup

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 C. chopped pine nuts. pecans or walnuts, toasted in 350’F oven for 7-10 minutes

3 C. packed arugula leaves

1/2 C. parsley, de-stemmed

3 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese

3 Tbs. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

1/3 C. olive oil

just a splash of balsamic vinegar never hurts either, but is optional! J

In a food processor (preferably) or blender, mix together garlic, nuts, arugula, parsley, cheese, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Poor olive oil over top to provide liquid for easy blending. Blend until fully incorporated. Can refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Beet and Arugula Salad

We LOVE this combination of sweet and peppery flavors. Trim tops and tips of beets (leave skins on until after cooking - they are so much easier to peel), saving (if you wish) the beet tops for braising or a salad some other time. If large, cut into halves or quarters to decrease cooking time. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil, add the beets and reduce heat to a gentle, rolling boil and cook until beets are tender all the way through (test with a sharp knife - about 20-25 minutes). In the meantime, whisk together (a fork works best to help incorporate the cheese) the vinaigrette:

6 Tbs. Extra-virgin olive oil

3 Tbs. basalmic vinegar

Approx. 2 Tbs. of bleu cheese, crumbled

a pinch of sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

When beets are tender, remove from stove top, drain water and

immediately rinse or soak beets with cold water until they have cooled enough to handle. Peel skins by slipping them off with your thumbs. Rinse again to remove bits of skin. Cut beets into bite size chunks. Let cool to room temperature before adding to the arugula. Just before serving, toss beets and vinaigrette with the arugula and enjoy! Toasted almond slivers are also delicious with this dish, added at the last minute to retain crunchiness.

Garlic Smashed-Potato Salad

Prep time: 1 hr. 15 minutes

Makes: 6 servings

2 heads garlic

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 Tbs dry white wine

2 3/4 pounds white or red potatoes, cleaned and cut into 1” chunks

1/4 cup chopped chives

about 1 1/2 tsp salt

about 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut garlic heads in half crosswise and wrap tightly in one large piece of foil. Bake until garlic is very soft when pressed and light golden brown (unwrap to test), 45 minutes to 1 hr. When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze cloves from skin into a small bowl. Add olive oil, wine, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper; mash garlic with a fork until mixture is smooth.
  2. Meanwhile, in a 6 to-8-quart pan, combine potatoes and 4 quarts water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced, about 20 minutes. Drain and return to pan.
Add garlic mixture and chives to potatoes and stir gently until combined but still chunky. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Let cool completely, then chill airtight for up to 1 day.

Arugula, Shallot (or subst. leek or onion), and Potato Frittata

serves 4

1 Tbs. olive oil

2 large potatoes, unpeeled (red skin adds nice color to this dish)

1/2 C. chopped shallots, leeks (sliced thin), or onion

2-4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes (or 1/2 - 1 tsp. fresh minced chile pepper)

1/4 tsp. salt

5 eggs

freshly ground pepper

1 C. packed arugula

3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Heat olive oil in a 10", non-stick skillet (med.-low temp.). Cut potatoes into 1" cubes (1/2" for faster cooking time) and add to the pan w/ shallots, garlic, pepper flakes, and salt. Cook, stirring often until shallots are soft. Cover pan and continue cooking 5-8 min. until the potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.

Whisk the eggs in a small bowl, seasoning them with a pinch of salt and pepper. Coarsely chop the arugula. Pour eggs evenly over the potato mixture in the pan and sprinkle the arugula over the top. Cook uncovered for 2-3 min., gently shifting the eggs around a few times to allow the uncooked egg to come into direct contact with the pan bottom. When the frittata is moist but no longer runny, sprinkle the feta cheese over the top. Place the skillet in a pre-heated oven (350'F) for 3-4 min. or until the frittata is just set and evenly baked. Leave in the skillet or transfer to a serving platter; cut into wedges to serve.

Leeks Braised in Red Wine (from Kitchen Garden magazine, Oct./Nov. '97)

4 Servings

2 Tbs. Olive oil

4 medium leeks, halved, with 1 in. to 2 in. of green top


1 cup red wine

1/2 cup vegetable broth or water


In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the leek halves, cut side down, season lightly with salt, and sauté until brown on the edges. Turn and brown the other side. Turn once more so they are cut side down and pour over the wine and vegetable broth. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the leeks are very tender, 10-12 minutes.

Remove the leeks to a serving dish. Increase the heat to high and reduce the sauce to a glaze. Pour over the leeks. Serve either hot, cold, or room temperature.

Classic Leek and Potato Soup (from Kitchen Garden magazine, Oct./Nov. '97)

serves 4

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

3 med. leeks, halved

5 C. chicken broth

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes

salt to taste

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over med.-low heat. Cut washed leek shafts into 1" pieces. Add to the pan and stir to coat with butter. Cover the pan and cook the leeks until softened but not brown, 8-10 min. Meanwhile, in a med. saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer over moderate heat. Keep the broth hot, but don't let it boil.

Add the potatoes to the leeks and pour the hot broth over the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 15-20 min., until potatoes are tender.

Take the pan from the heat and let cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor, in batches, and puree until very smooth. Return the puree to the pot and place over moderately low heat. Soup should be smooth but not thick. Add water to loosen the consistency, if necessary. Season with salt to taste. For a richer soup, stir in some cream at the end of cooking. Garnish with freshly minced dill.

Optional: I almost always take the liberty of adding finely chopped cooked carrots after pureeing the soup for added color and texture. Minced fresh chile pepper is also a pretty garnish and adds a kick!

Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette

1/4 C. sherry vinegar

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

2 Tbs. thinly slice shallots

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 C. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 C. vegetable, safflower, or canola oil

2 Tbs. finely chopped chives (dill would subst. nicely here)

Crisp Carrot Salad with Currants

serves 8

(Carrots taking over your refrigerator?? Share this dish with your family or friends!)

1/4 C. finely chopped shallots

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

1/4 C. red wine vinegar

2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. minced chile pepper

1 tsp. mild chile powder, such as Chimayo, Ancho, or Hatch

1 tsp. turmeric

1/4 C. Zante currants

1/4 C. boiling water

3 lbs. carrots, peeled (about 12 C.)

1/4 - 1/2 C. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 C. coarsely chopped chives

Combine shallots, ginger, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, chile pepper, chile powder, and turmeric in a bowl large enough to hold the carrots. Let sit at room temperature for 10 min. to marry the flavors.

Place currants in a small bowl; pour boiling water over them and let them sit 10 min. to plump. Drain and discard water.

Cut carrots into matchsticks, or grate them using your food processor or box grater. Add the carrots and the currants to the dressing and toss well to coat. Drizzle in 1/4 C. oil and the chives and toss again. Add additional oil as needed to coat the carrots.

With the abundance of squash you will have available to you over the next five weeks, take some time to explore the wonderful world of squash soup! One of my favorites to make that uses a good number of farm-grown ingredients is a curry-spiced lentil, winter squash, and carrot blend. I pre-bake the winter squash in the oven (as instructed above) while I cook lentils, chopped carrots, fresh minced chile peppers, lots of chopped garlic, and vegetable broth on the stovetop in a dutch oven. Once the squash is baked, I remove it from the skin, reserving enough to cut into small wedges to add one wedge in each bowl just before serving. I mash up the remaining squash a bit in a bowl before adding it to the soup pot. Once the squash is added to the finished lentil mixture, I season it with my favorite Indian spices (a nice curry powder blend is a simple choice with delicious results), salt, and freshly ground pepper. After letting the soup cool a bit, I puree about half of the soup in a food processor (I like some texture with this soup). Just before serving, I situate a sliver of baked winter squash in each bowl and garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro, if available. The fresh-baked bread isn't a must, but it sure is a treat!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

CSA Recipes: Weeks 17,18

Haven't we all been truly blessed with a beautiful September? The summer growing season has run a week or two longer than it has in the past, but the killing frost is upon us this week. It is a necessary occurrence, as I cannot get to that beautiful winter squash growing fat underneath its foliar canopy. Also, the day length is getting drastically shorter, making it more difficult each week to get all of those summer crops harvested in a day's time. The transition to fall faire is just around the corner, but we can enjoy the last of those delicious strawberries, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants for another week or two with the help of row covers. So, make the most of it and give one of the following recipes a try! If you still want more eggplant recipes, please check out the link given at the bottom of this site.

Healthy Carrot Muffins (you don't have to tell the kids...) - another wonderful creation by Bonnie
makes 12

Stir together:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat makes a milder flavor)
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup turbinado sugar (or, if you like a sweeter muffin, up to 2/3 cup)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
1/3 cup dried currants

Whisk until combined:

1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tbsp orange zest
2 large eggs

Lightly mix wet ingredients into dry. When some flour still remains, lightly fold in 1 cup grated carrot. Don't overmix or the muffins will be dense and tough! Bake in a greased muffin tin at 350 degrees for about 20 min.

Piperade (Traditional Basque dish, as found in The Oregonian)
makes 4 servings; (leftovers recommended for fajitas, adding chili powder, ground cumin and cayenne to shift the flavor from Spanish to Mexican)

1/4 C. olive oil, plus more for brushing on bread
3 sweet onions, halved and sliced 1/4" thick
5 large cloves garlic, minced, plus 1 cut in half
4 red sweet peppers, stem, ribs and seeds removed, sliced into 1/4" wide strips
4 green bell peppers, prepared same as red peppers
about 1 1/2 lbs. tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 Tbs. paprika
1 Tbs. smoked paprika (if available)
2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbs. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 slices rustic bread
8 eggs (directions for poaching them given below, but you can omit those steps and simply serve the piperade with an omelet, fried eggs, or scrambled eggs.)

Heat oil in large 12-14" saute pan or skillet over med.-high heat. Add onions and cook 7 min., or until soft, stirring often to avoid scorching. Add minced garlic and cook 3 min. more. Add red and green peppers and cook, stirring frequently, about 10 min. Add tomatoes, paprika, smoked paprika, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook until peppers are soft and the juices have begun to thicken, about 20 min.

Meanwhile, brush bread with oil and place under oven broiler to toast until golden on one side, about 1 min. Rub the cut side of the halved garlic on each piece generously. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium. Scoop out 3 C. of the pepper mixture, trying to get mostly peppers and not much sauce. Refrigerate for next meal. Use a spoon or spatula to clear away some of the remaining peppers in the pan to make 8 pockets for the eggs to cook. Crack and egg into each space. Sprinkle each with a little salt and pepper, and cover the pan with the lid (or cover tightly w/ foil). Cook the eggs for about 5-8 min. until whites are set and yolks are set to your desired consistency. Place a slice of bread in each bowl, spoon two eggs and some of the pepper mixture over each. Serve.

Eggplant and Peppers in Spicy Peanut Sauce - from the Moosewood Cookbook
serves 6 appetizer-sized servings, or toss with cold asian-style noodles to stretch it out...

1 medium (7") eggplant, unpeeled, and cut into 1" thick strips, then into 2" pieces
1 large bell pepper, any color, cut into 1" pieces

for the sauce:
1/2 C. good peanut butter (one w/ low sugar is best)
1/2 C. water
2 Tbs. soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbs. sugar
3 med. cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1-2 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro
ground cayenne, to taste, or substitute minced fresh chile to taste
salt, to taste (if peanut butter is unsalted)

Preheat oven to 375'F. Lightly oil a baking tray. Spread eggplant pieces on the tray and salt lightly. Let stand 10 min. Bake the eggplant until tender, about 15 min. (prepare sauce during this time). During the last 5 min. of baking, add the pepper pieces to the tray. Cool the vegetables to room temp., then transfer to a bowl or container. Add Chinese Peanut Sauce and mix gently. Serve at room temp. or cold.

Eggplant-Almond Enchiladas - also from the Moosewood Cookbook
serves 6-8

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 C. minced onion
6 C. diced eggplant
1 tsp. salt
lots of freshly ground black pepper
4 med. cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, minced
1 C. lightly toasted almonds, minced (easily done in a food processor or spice grinder)
1 packed C. grated Monterey Jack cheese, or other mild white cheese
12 corn tortillas
1 batch Mexican Red Sauce (given below)

Heat olive oil in deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add onion, sauteing over med. heat for about 5 min. Add eggplant, salt, and pepper; mix well. Cover and cook for about 10 min. over med. heat, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft. Add garlic and bell pepper. Stir and cook 5-8 min. more, or until pepper is just tender. Add more salt if desired. Remove from heat; stir in almonds and cheese. Preheat oven to 350'F. Moisten each tortilla briefly in water to soften them, then place approx. 1/4 C. of filling on one side and roll up. Gently situate filled tortillas on baking pan. Pour a batch of sauce over the top. Bake uncovered for about 30 min.

Mexican Red Sauce

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 C. minced onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
3 C. chopped tomatoes (4-6 med.-sized ones), peeling/seeding optional
1 C. water or tomato juice
4-6 med. cloves garlic, minced
optional: freshly minced cilantro; 1-2 tsp. finely minced serrano or jalapeno chile peppers if you want the sauce hot.

Heat oil in a med.-sized saucepan. Add onion and salt and saute over med. heat about 5 min., or until onion is translucent. Add cumin and chili powder, and saute about 5 min. more. Add chopped tomatoes and water or juice. Bring to a boil, partially cover, and lower heat, simmering at least 30 min.. Add the black pepper, cayenne, and garlic at anytime during the cooking (the later you add the garlic, the more apparent its flavor). Add cilantro at end of cooking, if desired. Leave sauce chunky, or puree all or some of it in a blender or food processor. This freezes well, too, so make a batch up for later use!

Roasted New Potato Salad
serves 6

1 1/2 lbs. new potatoes (about 9-10), cut in half
5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
fresh-ground pepper to taste
1-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 small onion, sliced thin
1/2 C. chopped parsley, or 1/4 C. chopped basil
3/4 C. tomatoes, chopped
optional: toasted pine nuts, feta cheese, finely minced chile pepper for some heat etc.....

Preheat oven to 425'F. Place potatoes in roasting pan, tossing them with 2 Tbs. olive oil and sprinkling them with about 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. Roast for 40-50 min. or until they are tender and a little crispy on the outside. Let them cool for 10-15 min. While the potatoes roast, combine garlic, vinegar, the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil, onion, herbs, and tomatoes (and chiles, if desired); toss together to blend well. Add the potatoes to the bowl, then add the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well. Transfer to a serving dish, topping with pine nuts and feta cheese, if desired. Serve warm, or chill it to serve cold later.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

CSA Recipes: Weeks 15, 16

This has been a great week for recipe ideas - some of you are getting quite creative! It makes me ridiculously happy to hear your tales from the kitchen. Not to mention receiving fun photos of your food-art masterpieces (see left).

Over the course of the past couple of weeks, I have been given (much to my delight, and Darrin's if he's lucky enough to get some) samples of refrigerated fresh dill cucumber pickles; zucchini chips (sliced with a mandolin and dehydrated in a dehydrator - not even coated with salt or seasonings.....the result is a naturally sweet, salty and crunchy treat); a fabulous coffee cake made with local apples and Link River trail blackberries; a peanut-ginger cabbage slaw (lunch!); and baskets of fresh peaches and plums. One member even shared a couple of home-brewed I.P.As. Boy, am I spoiled or what?!

One member mentioned how she didn't have enough eggplant to make baba ganoush, so she added roasted zucchini to supplement the dish. The results were good flavor and pleasing texture - she thinks she may try an all-zucchini version next time.

Another shared how her husband made a killer pureed cream of summer squash soup with fresh apple that turned out to be a fabulous surprise. Perhaps she will forward me the recipe so I can post it? Hint-hint.

I recently recalled a recipe from a member last year who loved to make red cabbage and beet quesadillas by simply sauteing (just until warmed through) shredded cabbage and lightly steamed, diced beets in butter, seasoning with salt, pepper, fresh chiles and cilantro. This filling is also great in soft or hard-shelled tacos with Monterey Jack cheese and sour cream.

Here is a beet recipe that a member just forwarded to me....sounds wonderful!
From Eric Gower's cookbook "The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen" (Kodansha International, 2003).
Beet Salad with Ginger, Pecans & Orange Zest
Serves 4 as side dish, 2 as an appetizer

Eric Gower's recipe calls for smoked trout. In my adaptation, I skip the
fish, use pecans instead of walnuts, and add orange zest. Try to find
beets with greens intact. This time of year you can substitute Swiss
chard. If you don't like the look of the greens mixed with the beets, Eric
suggests placing the leaves in the center of a large plate and surrounding
them with the beets. 2 to 3 beets, with greens attached 3 tablespoons
extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon minced ginger 2 tablespoon minced
shallots 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 2 tablespoons orange juice 2 teaspoons
grated orange zest Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 2
tablespoons chopped pecans

Instructions: Fill a pot with enough water to submerge the beets and bring
to a boil. Cut the stems and leaves from the beets and set aside. Place
beets in the pot and simmer over medium-low heat until tender when pierced
with a fork, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan. Add ginger and
shallots and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
Remove the cooked beets with a slotted spoon (leaving the cooking water in
the pot), rinse under cold water and slip off the skins. Cut the beets
into 1-inch pieces and place in a bowl. Add another tablespoon of the
olive oil, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, the ginger-shallot mixture, the
orange juice, orange zest and salt and pepper to taste and toss lightly.
Simmer the leaves in the hot red water for 3 minutes. Remove and rinse,
squeezing out as much water from the greens as possible. Chop the greens
into inch-long pieces, drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of olive oil
and tablespoon of the vinegar, and toss lightly.
Toast the pecans for a few minutes in a dry skillet. Right before serving,
lightly mix together the beets and greens and top the salad with the

In addition to including some summer classics with this recipe post, I'm going to include two from last year that people have put in requests for:

We love to eat this dish for supper with a loaf of piping hot crusty bread and a fresh green salad:

serves 4

1 large eggplant (about 1 lb.)
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 green (or purple!) bell pepper, or 1 sweet pepper, seeded
and cut into strips
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
about 1/3 C. extra-virgin olive oil
optional: 1 chile pepper (or 1/2 of one, if one of the really hot ones) finely chopped
1/2 C. coarsely chopped kalamata olives
grated parmesan for topping

According to the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, by Sally Fallon, there are two secrets to a good ratatouille: One is to saute all the vegetables separately; the second is to bake your casserole in a shallow open pan so that most of the liquid evaporates. Peel and cube the eggplant (I never bother peeling it) and saute it in batches in several Tbs. olive oil. Remove with a slotted spoon to an oiled, rectangular pyrex baking dish. Saute zucchini, pepper, onions, and tomatoes in succession, adding more olive oil as necessary
and removing to casserole. Add mashed garlic and thyme to casserole. Mix well and bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for at least 1 hour. Ratatouille often tastes better reheated the next day.

The following recipe is from a wonderful Indian cookbook, and is a great eggplant dish!

Eggplant Curry
serves 4

2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. black peppercorns
4 green cardamom pods (or
a pinch of ground cardamom)
1/4 tsp. ground tumeric
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin (I like to replace this with ground fennel seed)
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1 fresh green chile, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 in. piece of fresh ginger, grated or minced
1/2 C. chopped tomatoes
1/4 tsp. salt
6 C. eggplant, cut into 1" cubes (can substitute a few cups with button mushrooms if you wish)

1. In a wok or large skillet, heat oil and fry cumin seeds, peppercorns, cardamom pods and tumeric for 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat.
2. Add the onion and fry for 5
minutes or until golden (reduce heat to medium if onions are scorching). Stir in the ground cumin, coriander and garam masala and fry for a further 2 minutes.
3. Add the chile, garlic and
ginger and fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add cubed eggplant (or
halved mushrooms) to the pan. Cover and simmer over low heat 10 minutes. Transfer to a warm serving platter and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with an Indian bread, such as naan, parathas or chapatis.

And for some must-have summer classics:

Traditional Gazpacho
(modified from Martha Stewart Living, Sept. '09)
serves 6

2 garlic cloves, minced
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
1 medium green (or purple) bell pepper, finely diced
2 tsp. red-wine vinegar
1 tsp. sherry vinegar (if handy, if not increase red-wine vinegar to 3 tsp.)
1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 C. cold water or tomato juice
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley
minced fresh chiles, to taste
1 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
1/4 C. finely chopped onion

Combine all ingredients. Puree some or all of soup (optional). Chill until very cold. Nice
served with homemade croutons.

Caprese Salad (make as small or large of a platter as you wish)

Alternate 1/4 - 1/2" sliced
tomatoes and 1/4" sliced fresh mozzarella cheese (fresh, soft mozz. is key for this dish) on a platter. Top generously with
chopped fresh basil. Sprinkle coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper over cheese and tomatoes. Finally, drizzle with approx. 2 parts extra-virgin olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar. Serve with fresh crusty bread as an appetizer or light meal. Sometimes simple is genius!!

And finally some ideas for
those yummy, mild green
chiles....try them, finely diced,
in homemade breads (i.e. cornbread) - top with shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack for a savory version. They are also fabulous stuffed with the same cheeses and roasted in the oven or on the grill until soft. If you eat eggs, you can add them fresh to your scrambles, or roast them first and layer them in any baked egg dish. Roasting chiles is easy: place them whole, in a shallow baking pan, under the broiler (you can also do this right on your stove element...gas stoves make this especially easy), turning them frequently until the skins puff up all around. Place them immediately in a paper bag, close it, put it on a plate and let them sweat in the bag for about 20 minutes. The skins are then easy to pull off (removing seeds optional).

Friday, September 4, 2009

CSA Recipes - Weeks 12, 13, 14

The bounty is really piling on at the moment: cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, summer squash, carrots, beets, tomatoes, green beans, cabbage, parsley and basil, onions, garlic, salad mix, strawberries, cherry tomatoes....whew! Next-on crops include melons, chile peppers, and shallots (if I can get them cleaned pronto).

What to do with eggplant? Eggplant tends to be one of those fruits that people either really love or don't, but I often find that those in the 'not a fan' camp are mostly just unsure of how to prepare it. Eggplant's 'meaty', hearty texture makes it a welcome addition to stir-fries and pasta dishes. It's also fabulous when grilled. For beginner eggplant consumers, I always recommend baba ghanoush, a traditional Arabic dish that is deliciously simple to make and simply delicious to eat. Others may like to incorporate eggplant into their pasta sauces and lasagnas.

Baba ghanoush (from Kitchen Garden magazine)
makes 3 C.

About 1 1/2 lbs. eggplant
4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 C. roasted sesame tahini (a sesame seed spread that can be found in most natural food sections, or you can make your own by roasting your own sesame seeds and adding a bit of sesame and olive oils until the desired consistency is reached)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. toasted whole cumin seed
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh parsley

In a lightly oiled dish, roast the eggplants under a broiler or on the grill (for a more smoky flavor), turning frequently, until they are very soft and the skin is blackened, about 30 min. (about half that time for the thinner 'Japanese Long' types). To ensure they cook thoroughly, start roasting them as far from the broiler as possible; when the eggplants become soft, move them closer to the flame/element to blacken the skin. This is essential for great flavor. Once cooled, peel the eggplants and drain them in a colander. Spin all ingredients, except the whole cumin seed and parsley, in a food processor until smooth. Before serving, stir in the toasted cumin seed and garnish with fresh parsley. You can vary this recipe by blending in a couple of tablespoons of plain yogurt; or try stirring in some chopped fresh tomato at the end. This fabulous dip is often eaten with pita or other flat breads, but is also great as a vegetable dip or served with fresh crusty bread.

Roasted Eggplant Marinara Sauce (from Sunset magazine)
prep and cook time: about 1 1/2 hours
makes about 12 C., enough for about 8-12 servings

2 lbs. eggplant, rinsed, ends trimmed, and cut into 1/2" chunks
3 Tbs. olive oil
3 Tbs. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 onion (about 1/2 lb.), peeled and diced into 1/4" pieces
About 4 lbs. tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil, or 2 tsp. dried
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. hot chile pepper flakes

1. In a 12" x 15" baking pan, mix eggplant with 2 Tbs. oil, 1 Tbs. garlic, salt, and pepper. Bake in a 400'F oven, stirring once, until fruit is browned and soft, 30 - 35 min.
2. Pour remaining oil into a 5-6 quart pan over med. heat. when hot, add onion and remaining garlic. Stir frequently until onion is very limp, 5-8 min.
3. Add tomatoes, basil, sugar, oregano, chile flakes, and roasted eggplant. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have broken down slightly and mixture is thick, 35-40 min. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot over your pasta noodle of choice, garnish with fresh chopped basil or parsley, grated Romano or parmesan cheese and fresh crus
ty bread. Stirring in a 1/4 C. of ricotta cheese at the end is also a nice addition for a creamier version of this recipe.

Caponatina (Rose Troia McCormick)
(an Italian spread that is nice to have on hand in your refrigerator for a quick appetizer served with sliced fresh bread; or spread it on the bread slices, top with grated Romano or parmesan cheese and place under the broiler until browned)

1/2 - 3/4 C. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large eggplant (or about 3 C.), cut into small cubes
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 C. parsley
2 C. diced celery
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1 C. tomato paste
2 large tomatoes, peeled, diced
1 C. water
1/3 C. red wine vinegar
1/2 - 1 C. green or black olives (Kalamatas are nice, avoid canned black olives)
1/2 C. toasted pine nuts

Heat oil over med. heat; saute garlic and celery. Remove. Saute eggplant, onion, green pepper and cook on low heat for 10 min. Add tomato paste, tomatoes and remaining ingredients (except pine nuts) and cook until soft. Let cool, then stir in the pine nuts. Keep refrigerated until needed.

Labor Day weekend often means picnics with family and friends. This coleslaw recipe would surely be a welcome addition to the table!

Thai-Style Cabbage Slaw (Sunset magazine)
makes 8-10 small-plate servings

3 Tbs. lime juice
2 Tbs. Asian fish sauce (or sub. with 2 tsp. salt, adding more at the end to taste)
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. hot chile pepper flakes
6 C. finely shredded green or red cabbage
1/2 C. onion, slivered
1/2 C. chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 C. chopped roasted, unsalted peanuts
salt to taste

In a large bowl, mix lime juice, fish sauce, 2 Tbs. water, sugar, and chile flakes. Stir in cabbage and onion. Just before serving, stir in herbs, peanuts, and more salt to taste.

For nice picnic side dish, try this peanut cucumber salad:

Peanut Cucumber Salad (Sunset magazine)
served 6-8

1/4 C. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
about 1/2 tsp. salt
about 1 1/2 lbs. cucumbers, sliced very thin
1/2 C. unsalted, roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

In a large bowl, combine vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add sliced cucumbers to the dressing and mix to coat. Add more salt to taste and sprinkle with peanuts.

This week marks the last of the green beans, so here is a final recipe worthy of trying before they are all gone!

Hot Sichuan-Style Green Beans (Sunset magazine)
about 8-10 small-plate servings
serve hot of at room temperature

1 lb. green beans
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. rice vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. hot chile pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 Tbs. minced garlic
2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger

1. Cut rinsed, trimmed green beans into 2-3" length pieces. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chile flakes, and pepper.
2. Heat a 10-12 frying skillet over high heat. When pan is hot, add beans and 1/4 C. water. Cover and cook, stirring once, until beans are bright green and slightly crunchy, 3-4 min. Uncover and cook until any remaining water has evaporated.
3. Reduce heat to med.-high, adding oil, garlic, and ginger to pan; stir until green beans and garlic are lightly browned, 1-2 min. Stir soy mixture and add to pan; bring to a boil and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce thickens and coats the beans, 2-3 min. Pour into a serving dish.

Friday, August 14, 2009

CSA Recipes - Weeks 9, 10, 11

Ah, yes....August: the month the garden begins to crank out so much produce that we can become quickly overwhelmed by the bounty (and, perhaps, the vegetables begin to overtake the refrigerator)! It comes on so quickly, and it also so fleeting. It's time to get busy in the kitchen, preparing fresh meals throughout the week, as well as making the time to preserve items that seem to be stockpiling. Here are some recipes that may help. Do try to enjoy this time of plenty!

Classic French Onion Soup
serves 4

2 Large onions

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 Tbs. butter

3 3/4 cups vegetable stock or broth, or beef if you prefer

4 slices French bread

1 1/2 to 2 oz. Gruyere, Parmesan, or Cheddar cheese

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  1. Chop the onions into 1/4 inch pieces. Heat the oil and butter in a deep, medium-size pot so that the onions form a thick layer.
  2. Saute the onions for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Reduce heat and cook gently 45-60 minutes. Stir more frequently as the onions begin to color to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of pan. The onions gradually turn golden and then more rapidly to brown, so take care not to let them burn.
  4. When the onions are a rich brown, add the vegetable or beef broth. Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.
  5. Preheat the broiler and toast the French bread. Spoon the soup into four ovenproof serving dishes and place a piece of bread on top of each. Sprinkle with the cheese and broil for a few minutes, until golden and bubbling. Season with freshly ground pepper and serve.

Sweet and Sour Onions

Carefully peel 2 large ‘Walla-Walla’ Sweet onions or any mild red onions, keeping the ends intact so that the layers stay together. Cut the onions into 10-12 sections and place the pieces in an oil-rubbed baking dish. Combine and whisk together the following:

4 Tbs. wholegrain mustard

4 Tbs. honey

4 Tbs. red wine vinegar

4 Tbs. of canola or safflower oil

Brush this mixture over the onions, cover the dish and bake in a preheated 425’F/gas 7 oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes, or until the onions are soft and caramelized.

Annie's Candy (compliments of Tamera)

A great way to preserve and enjoy those 'Walla-Walla' sweet onions! Recipe is scaled down for a small batch, but this recipe is easily doubled for maximum preserving.

2-3 large 'Walla-Walla' onions, sliced into 1/4" thick rings

1/8 - 1/4 C. tamari

1-2 Tbs. olive oil (just enough to coat the onions in the bowl)

In a large bowl, toss the onion rings with olive oil to coat. Add tamari, stirring onions to coat evenly. Cover the bowl, allowing the onions to marinate in the tamari on your countertop for several hours. The onions will wilt down as they soak in the marinade. If you have a dehydrator, place the marinated onions on the screens and dehydrate them at 105'F for 24 hrs. The result is sweet, salty onion leather! I don't have a dehydrator unit, so I'm going to try drying them down in the oven, on the lowest setting with the door cracked to allow the moisture to escape.

Cabbage Paprikash Soup

5 to 6 servings

90 cal, 4 g fat, 45 mg sodium, 2 g fiber per serving

To stretch this soup, add up to 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes. Chopped fresh dill and a dot of sour cream makes the perfect garnish.

2 Tbs butter

1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced

4 cups thinly sliced green or red cabbage


2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs paprika

5 1/2 – 6 cups vegetable stock

1 large carrot, peeled and grated

2 Tbs tomato paste

Juice of 1 lemon

2-3 tsp sugar

Freshly ground pepper

Directions: Melt the butter in a medium soup pot. Stir in the onion and sauté over medium heat for 8-9 minutes, until translucent. Add the cabbage, salt lightly, and sauté 10 minutes more, until all the cabbage is wilted. Stir in the garlic and paprika and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add the vegetable stock, carrot, tomato paste, and more salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add about 1/2 each of the lemon juice and sugar; simmer briefly, then taste, adding more sugar and lemon juice to get a mellow but distinctively sweet-tart broth. Add pepper to taste; dill and sour cream to garnish. Serve hot.

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage (Kitchen Garden magazine)

8 servings

1 red cabbage (about 2 lbs.), cored

1/2 C. water

1/4 C. apple cider vinegar

2 Tbs. brown sugar

1-2 tart apples, peeled, cored, and diced

1 tsp. kosher salt

Cut the cabbage into very thin slices. Place the water, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the cabbage, and set over medium heat. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce to med.-low heat. Add the diced apple, cover the pan, and cook until the cabbage is completely wilted and tender, 25-30 min. Remove from the heat. Adjust the seasoning with sugar or vinegar, and salt to taste. Transfer to a bowl or platter, and serve immediately.

Sauteed Green Beans with Warm Gorgonzola Vinaigrette

Makes 6 servings

6 C. lightly salted boiling water

1 lb. (about 5 C.) green beans

3 tsp. olive oil

1/4 C. balsamic vinegar

1/4 C. crumbled gorgonzola cheese

1 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp. chopped garlic

3/4 tsp. chopped shallots (onion will sub. fine)

1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, or 1/4 tsp. dried

1/2 tsp. chopped fresh basil, or 1/4 tsp. dried

salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring about 6 C. of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the beans and blanch by boiling them for 4 minutes. Drain beans immediately and immerse them in ice water to stop them from cooking; drain.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine olive oil, vinegar, gorgonzola, brown sugar, garlic, shallots, thyme and basil. Warm over medium heat until the ingredients start to combine, about 7 minutes.
  3. Toss the green beans with the warm vinaigrette and serve immediately.

Green Beans with Tomatoes, Garlic, and Lemon Zest (The Oregonian's Food Day)

serves 4

1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed

1/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

2 Tbs. olive oil or butter

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 C. tomatoes, diced

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 C. roughly chopped basil or parsley (optional)

Place beans in a wide, deep skillet. Add enough water to cover about halfway; add the salt. Bring to a boil and cook the beans, uncovered, until the water has almost cooked away and the beans are crisp-tender; don't let the pan cook totally dry. Taste the beans midway; if they're getting tender quickly, pour off the remaining water; if they're still tough, add a little more water.

Adjust the heat to med.-high. Make a little clearing in the beans; add the oil and garlic. Let the garlic sizzle a few seconds, then add the tomatoes and toss everything together (tongs make this easy). Cook, tossing occasionally, until the tomato juices start to thicken and coat the beans. Fold in the lemon zest, season with pepper and taste for salt. Finish with the parsley or basil, if using, and serve immediately. Add a little lemon juice with the lemon zest if you wish to make it a little brighter.

Moroccan Carrot Soup (Vegetarian Times magazine)

serves 6; great served with hummus, sliced cucumbers or raita, and pita bread

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 tsp. fennel seeds

1 1/2 lbs. carrots, sliced 1/4" thick

1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (1 large or 2 medium)

1 large Granny Smith, or other tart apple, peeled and diced

5 1/2 C. low-sodium vegetable broth

2 Tbs. long-grain white rice

1/4 tsp. curry powder (mild or hot, whichever you prefer)

1/4 tsp. ground coriander (freshly ground is best)

1 bay leaf

Fresh lemon juice

Flat-leaf parsley sprigs, chopped finely for the top at serving time.

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add fennel seeds and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 2-3 min. Add carrots, sweet potatoes, and apple; cook 5 min., stirring often. Add broth, rice, curry powder, coriander and bay leaf.

2. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 min.

3. Discard bay leaf. Puree soup in batches. Add lemon juice, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with parsley.

Curried Zucchini Rice (The Oregonian's Food Day)

makes 6 C.

2 C. basmati rice

1 Tbs. olive oil

1/4 C. chopped onion

1 Tbs. mild curry powder

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 3/4 C. water

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. currants

1 C. plain yogurt

1 1/2 C. coarsely grated zucchini

(1) 15 1/2 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained, or 1 1/2 C. home-cooked

2 tsp. finely minced fresh mint

Preheat oven to 375'F. Place rice in mesh strainer and wash under cold running water until the water runs clear. Drain well. Heat olive oil in med. heavy-bottomed ovenproof pan over med.-high heat. Add onion and curry powder and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Stir in garlic and drained rice. Add water, salt, currants, and yogurt and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil. Stir and cover with tight-fitting lid or foil. Bake about 15 min. or until rice is tender. Remove from the oven. Fluff rice with a fork, fold in zucchini, garbanzo beans and mint. Cover and let rest 5 min. to heat the beans and zucchini through.

Zucchini Cake (by Jennifer Lise Louis)

(A favorite of mine when I was apprenticing at Sauvie Island Organics outside of Portland. Very pretty when baked in a fluted pan)

1/2 C. butter

1/2 C. olive oil

1 3/4 C. sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 C. buttermilk

2 1/2 C. flour

4 Tbs. cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. freshly ground coriander

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

2 C. shredded zucchini or other summer squash

1/2 C. chocolate chips or carob chips (optional, but oh-so-good!)

1. Preheat oven to 350'F. Cream butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 min.

2. Add eggs, vanilla, buttermilk and beat well until combined

3. Mix dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.

4. Fold in shredded zucchini and chocolate ships.

5. Bake at 350'F about 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.