Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
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Ooh, the season is changing
-- get ready for eggplant, tomatoes and green beans! Although
only some of us will be getting the very first of the eggplant
and tomatoes this week (and green beans are imminent), please
be patient... we're ALL going to get lots of these goodies
in the coming weeks! I also see we're getting the Italian
Lacinato or "dinosaur" kale for the first time this season
(what we've been getting up until now has been the purple-tinged
Red Russian kale). Click here if you want to see the difference. [last minute addition: only the Small shares are getting the Lacinato this week]
Let's see, I don't have a particular theme this week, so I'll just give you a nice variety of recipes! How's that? In no particular order...
First, this from member
Susan Machado, a "master recipe" that can be used with many
Italian Potatoes and Kale
from "Lidia's Italian American Table"
Makes 4 servings.
Susan says, "The thing to remember is the proportion of 40%
potato to 60% vegetable. It is similar to colcannon but with
a twist. I serve it as a side dish or topped with a fried
egg for light meal. Yummy and very satisfying."
1 large potato (about 6 oz) - you can substitute equal amount of new potatoes
1 large bunch kale**, cleaned, de-ribbed, and sliced into large strips (I use more if I have it)
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil - plus more for drizzling over cooked veggies
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
Peel large potato and cut crosswise into 1 1/2 inch pieces. (If using new potatoes, scrub and either peel or leave skin on and cut in half.) Pour enough cold water over potato in large saucepan to cover by 3 inches. Bring to boil over high heat, lower the heat slightly to a gentle boil and cook 8 minutes. New potatoes can take longer - up to 20-25 minutes. Cook potatoes until tender. Stir
in the kale and cook until both are tender about 5-8 minutes.
Drain the vegetables well in colander. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Saute
garlic until golden, about 1 minute. Slide the drained veggies into skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring and mashing the potatoes to the desired consistency. Drizzle
additional oil into the veggies and mix before serving.
**Spinach, Swiss chard, Savoy [Chinese] cabbage, green cabbage,
or string beans can be used instead of kale. You can also add some red pepper flakes when browning the garlic. Make a nice soup with any leftovers adding chicken broth or even water to dilute. Add
some cannellini beans, fresh rosemary and top with grated
parmesan or romano cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
Since the plums this week
are prune plums, here is a recipe given me a few years back
by member Farrell Podgorsek. She says it is her favorite
recipe to bake with them, and that it is "outstanding and
modified from a recipe by Joan Nathan in "Jewish
makes one 10" tart
1 1/2 C flour
pinch of salt
1/2 C butter
2 tbsp. sherry (use any type of DRINKING sherry, never use cooking sherry, which has salt)
1 tbsp. water
1 1/2 pounds prune plums, quartered and pitted
1/4 C sugar
zest of one lemon
1 tbsp. flour if plums are very juicy
2 tsp. of sherry
1/3 C currant jelly
Mix flour and salt together. Cut in butter until mixture
looks like coarse crumbs. Add sherry and enough water just
so dough holds together. Pat dough into a 10" tart
pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
Mix plums, sugar, lemon zest and flour together in a bowl.
Spread crust with currant jelly. Place plums, cut side up
around in circle on crust so that each overlaps the other
and forms a spiral in the center. Bake at 375 degrees
for 40-50 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and
filling is bubbly.
Farrell's notes: The original recipe was as a pie with a
9-inch pie plate and 3 pounds plums. You can also use
port and orange zest in place of the lemon zest and sherry.
The recipe works best with prune plums, since they can be
pitted easily, are very meaty, and are not as juicy as other
Many of us are getting raspberries these days, and this is a delicious recipe I've made a couple times. Note that it can be made with blackberries or blueberries as well!
Raspberry lemon pudding cake
from "Moosewood Restaurant New Classics"
When they bake, pudding cakes magically separate into a cakey layer and a custardy pudding layer. This pudding cake is easy to make, and if you prefer, blackberries or blueberries will work fine in place of the raspberries. For an elegant presentation, run a paring knife around the outside of the baking cups, invert the cakes onto beautiful plates, and serve topped with fresh berries.
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice [remember to grate and reserve the lemon peel before juicing]
2 tsp. cornstarch
12 oz. (1 1/2 to 2 C) fresh or frozen raspberries
1 C sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 C buttermilk
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 C unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil six ovenproof custard cups or six 8-ounce ramekins. Place the cups in a 2-inch-deep baking pan. Begin to heat water to add to the pan just before baking.
In a bowl, combine the lemon juice with the cornstarch. Add
the raspberries and 1/2 C of the sugar and toss lightly. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer or a whisk, beat the egg whites until stiff. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and buttermilk with the remaining 1/2 C
sugar. Beat in the lemon peel, vanilla, salt, flour, and
baking powder. Gently stir in the raspberry mixture, then
fold in the beaten egg whites.
Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared cups. Pour very hot water into the baking pan until the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake until puffed, firm on top, and golden, 40 to 50 minutes.
Refrigerate and serve chilled.
Here's a quickie salad I made up the other day...
Arugula and carrot salad with raspberries
Nothing to it really; just toss together clean, dried (torn, if big) arugula leaves and grated carrot with your favorite balsamic dressing and serve on plates with a scattering of raspberries!
Click here for a blurb from last year's newsletter on salad dressings if you want to make your own (FYI you have to scroll down the page to get to it).
And now a succession of recipes from my clippings file, ones I've kept because I found them to either have interesting flavor combinations or techniques for using veggies we get in our boxes...
Sauteed cauliflower with
green olives and tomatoes
[unfortunately this is a xerox of a clipping, so I have lost the source]
[alert member Lisa Silberman wrote me identifying the source as
Marcella Hazan's "Marcella Cucina"]
makes 4 servings
1 head cauliflower, about 1 1/2 lbs.
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1/3 C very thinly chopped onion
16 green olives in brine, pitted and quartered
Black pepper ground fresh
1 C really ripe fresh tomatoes, peeled raw, seeds scooped away and cut into fine dice
Trim away the cauliflower's green leaves and wash it in cold
water. Choose a saucepan that can amply contain the whole
cauliflower head, fill it three-quarters full with water,
and bring the water to a boil. Drop in the cauliflower and
cook until it feels very tender when tested with a fork,
about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and, as soon as the cauliflower
is cool enough to handle, cut it into pieces about 1 1/2 inches
Put the olive oil and the chopped onion in a 10- or 12-inch skillet, and turn the heat on to medium high. Cook the onion, stirring once or twice until it becomes a pale gold color, then add the cut-up cauliflower, the olives, salt and a liberal grinding of black pepper.
Cook over heat for 2 to 3 minutes, occasionally turning over the contents of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the diced tomato, turn all the ingredients over, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so. Serve at once when done.
Tequila-braised kale (vegan)
a 2005 SJ Merc clipping, from "The Spirited Vegetarian" by
1/2 C dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 C boiling water
1/3 C tequila
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 medium sweet onion, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch
thick slices (about 1 C)
1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 bunch dinosaur kale, stemmed (if necessary) and coarsely chopped
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper, or to taste
Combine sun-dried tomatoes and boiling water in small bowl. Soak about 10 minutes, or until softened. Drain, reserving liquid. Use kitchen scissors to cut tomatoes into matchstick strips.
To make braising liquid, combine tequila, vinegar and tomato liquid in a small bowl.
Heat oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and
cook, stirring occasionally, until it just begins to soften,
about 5 minutes. Add cumin seeds and garlic and stir for
about 30 seconds.
Add kale and stir until coated with oil. Add braising liquid, tomatoes and chickpeas. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until kale is tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in lime juice, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with couscous, if you like.
Pasta with blanched-and-buttered carrots, garlic and mixed fresh herbs
another Merc clipping (from 2000) from "Pasta Verdura" by
8 medium carrots (about 1 lb.)
Salt to taste, plus 1 tsp.
1 C tightly packed mixed fresh herb leaves such as oregano, thyme, marjoram, chives, basil, mint and tarragon
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. fusili or other short, curly pasta
Bring 4 cups salted water to a boil for pasta. Bring several
quarts salted water to boil in medium saucepan. Peel carrots
and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Boil until tender but not mushy,
about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Wash and pat dry herbs. Leave smaller leaves whole; shred or chop larger leaves. Set aside.
Melt butter in large skillet. When it foams, add garlic and
saute over medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add
carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through,
about 2 minutes. Stir in herbs and the 1 tsp. salt.
While preparing sauce, cook and drain pasta, making sure some liquid still clings to noodles. Toss hot pasta with carrot sauce.
Indian Potato Salad
an un-dated Merc clipping from "Salads" by
1/2 C peanut oil or ghee, divided use
1 tbsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tbsp. cumin seeds
1/2 cinnamon stick, crushed
1 dried red chile, crushed
6 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp. turmeric
1 lb. potatoes, cut into chunks
2 red onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
Handful of cilantro, torn
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat 1/4 C of the oil in a large skillet, add the mustard and
cumin seeds, cinnamon, chile and cardamom. Stir-fry until
aromatic, then stir in the turmeric. Add the potatoes,
salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup water
and boil until the liquid has evaporated and the potatoes
are tender. Add more water if necessary.
Sprinkle half the chopped onions over the top and add the
cilantro. Heat the remaining 1/4 C oil in a small skillet, add the remaining
onion and the garlic, and saute until
golden. Pour over the potatoes and toss to coat. Top with
the torn cilantro and serve.
Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
from an undated clipping... Bon Appetit, I think!
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh basil
1 large red onions, halved, thinly sliced
3 large sweet peppers, multi-colored if possible [they of course want you to have 'one red, one yellow and one green' pepper, but heck, just use whatcha got!]
1 1-lb eggplant, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch
1/2 lb. yellow squash (about 2 medium) cut into 1/3-inch rounds
1/2 lb. zucchini [or other green summer squash]
Coarse kosher salt
Whisk vinegar and mustard in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Stir in garlic, thyme, and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss onions and rest of veggies in a large bowl; sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Add dressing; toss to coat. Divide between 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Roast until vegetables are tender and slightly brown around edges, about 35 minutes.