Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CSA - Weeks 7/8 Recipes

Eating seasonally is a bit like experiencing a concert that begins with a soloist and builds into a full symphony with the addition of each musical instrument. The art of cooking with local foods follows a similar rhythm, beginning simply and uncomplicated, each week of the season building creative possibilities with synergistic intensity. Not wanting to waste the bounty your CSA provides is a wonderful incentive to use recipes as inspirational guidelines, perhaps adding or substituting ingredients based on what you have in your kitchen. So, here are some guidelines...

Coleslaw w/ Ginger-Mustard Vinaigrette (California Home Cooking by Michele Anna Jordan)
serves 8

1 med. head cabbage (red, green, or 1/2 of each) - about 2 1/2 lbs.
4 carrots, grated
1 small red onion, diced
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
4 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1-2 serrano chiles, minced (jalapeno works, too)
2 tsp. peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
1 Tbs. sugar
2/3 C. olive oil
3 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, toss cabbage, carrots and onion together and set aside. Make dressing by whisking together vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, chile, ginger, and sugar. Slowly whisk in olive oil and then add cilantro. Add salt/pepper to taste, then pour dressing over cabbage mixture. Toss until well coated. Let rest 10 min. before serving, or cover and chill until ready to serve.

Simple Pan-Asian Slaw (Moosewood Restaurant's Simple Suppers)
Serves 4

3 C. shredded cabbage (great mixed with some shredded c
arrot and/or julienned celery)
1/3 C. thinly sliced scallions/green onions
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 Tbs. unseasoned rice vinegar
1-2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill, basil, or cilantro (optional)

Place cabbage/cabbage mixture in a serving bowl. Put scallions on top, but don't stir. In a small pan, heat oil until hot - almost smoking - and pour it over scallions. Sprinkle on salt, sugar, and vinegar and toss well. Serve right away or keep in refrigerator up to a few days.

Cabbage Salsa (The Great Salsa Book by Mark Miller)
yields about 2 C. / serving suggestions: w/ barbecued food, especially ribs

1 1/2 C. unseasoned rice vinegar
1 C. water
2 C. packed cabbage, diced small
3-4 serrano chiles, cut into rings (1+ tsp. hot red chile flakes would substitute fine)
3 Tbs. seeds and diced red or orange bell pepper
3 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. peeled, cored, and finely diced pineapple (mango would be nice, too)
1 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro

Bring vinegar, water, chiles, sugar, and salt to a boil in large saucepan. Reduce liquid by half, about 10 min. Add cabbage and cook for 45 sec.-1 min., stirring occasionally. Strain, reserving the liquid, and cool the cabbage in a bowl placed over a larger bowl of ice water. When cool, add 1 Tbs. of reserved cooking liquid, the pineapple, bell pepper, and cilantro. Combine thoroughly.

Basil Lemonade (from Sunset Magazine, May 2003)
Makes 4 1/2 C.; about 4 servings

In a 1 1/2-2 quart glass or bowl, combine 1/2 C. rinsed, lightly packed fresh bas
il leaves and 3 Tbs. sugar, agave syrup, or honey. With a wooden spoon, crush leaves with sugar until thoroughly bruised. Add 4 C. water and 1/2 C. freshly squeezed lemon juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved, 1-2 min. Taste and add more sweetener, if desired. Pour through a fine strainer and chill before serving. Garnish with sprigs of fresh basil.

Basil Oil (from Sunset Magazine, May 2003)
Makes about 1 C.

Great to have on hand form fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, among other things!

1. Rinse/drain 1 1/2 C. lightly packed fresh basil leaves. Pat dry with towel. Combine basil leaves, 1 C. extra-virgin olive oil in a blender or food processor, whirl just until leaves are finely chopped (don't puree).
2. Pour mixture into a 1 - 1 1/2 quart pan over med. heat. Stir occasionally until oil bubbles around pan sides and reaches 165 degrees on a thermometer, 3-4 min. Remove from heat and let stand until cool, about 1 hr.
3. Line a fine wire strainer with two layers of cheesecloth and set over a small bowl. Pour mixture into strainer. After oil passed through, gently press basil to release remaining oil. Discard basil. Serve oil or cover in airtight container and store in refrigerator up to 3 months. The olive oil will likely solidify when chilled, but will quickly liquify when set out at room temperature.

Tuscan Bread and Tomato Salad (Panzanella) (from Sunset Magazine, June 2006)
Serves 4
Great served with a selection of fruits and cheeses.

7 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. butter
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
1 12-inch length of baguette
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
3 lb. very ripe assorted tomatoes (about 8 med.), chopped, or whole if using cherry tomatoes
1/2 C. basil leaves, torn into pieces or cut into ribbons

1. Preheat oven to 350' F. In a small pan over medium heat, combine 2 Tbs. olive oil, the butter, and garlic; stir until butter melts, about 2 min.
2. Cut baguette into 1/2 in. cubes and put in a 10"x15" baking pan. Pour oil mixture over bread and mix well. Bake until golden, 10-15 min. Remove from oven and let cool in pan.
3. Mix remaining olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir in tomatoes and bread cubes. Serve at room temperature in shallow bowls or serves over fresh greens. Garnish with basil.

Summer wouldn't be complete in our house without the following dish. My best friend's father made this when I was growing up, and it is still a favorite of mine on a hot summer evening, served with fresh baked bread and salad greens....

Bob's Philly Basil Linguine

3 C. fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 8 oz. cream cheese, cubed (light works fine)
3/4 C. olive oil
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1/3 C. fresh chopped basil
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. linguine pasta

In a large serving bowl, combine tomatoes, cream cheese and all ingredients except pasta; mix lightly. Cover and marinate at room temperature about 2 hours. Prepare linguine as directed on package. Add pasta to marinade, toss lightly. Top with 1/2 C. toasted pine nuts; garnish with grated parmesan cheese and basil. Serve at room temperature (also great cold as leftovers).

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