Greetings everyone - what glorious weather we are having! I am drinking in every bit of sun I can, recharging with lots of healthy Vitamin D. I hope you all are finding time to enjoy it too. With this weather, the vegetables are brimming and the farm is hopping. I want to again honor Farmer Tom and his wonderful crew of dedicated workers who are working so diligently so that we all may be blessed with the bounty. My deepest gratitude! Celebrate all the beautiful produce and the amazing health benefits our bodies and spirits are receiving. Hope you all have a grand week of cooking. With joy and blessings, Rebecca [email Rebecca]
[Rebecca Mastoris is a chef/teacher at Bauman College, and a partner in Vibrant Foods Catering along with Karen Haralson. Both Karen and Rebecca teach cooking classes at the farm and in town locally - see our 2012 Calendar, below.]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SMOKED SPINACH GOUDA FRITTATA with TOMATOES
The spinach-laden frittata with just a hint of smoky cheese comes together in minutes and offers ultimate time-of-day flexibility. Serve morning, noon, or night with toast, roasted potatoes, and a little fruit. A last minute dribble of balsamic vinegar delivers a subtle, acidic pop.
1 Tbs. heavy cream
sea salt and pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 small shallot, diced
4 c. spinach (packed), rinsed and patted dry
1/4 c. smoked gouda cheese
1 medium tomato, sliced
good balsamic for serving
1. Set an oven rack 5 inches from the heat source. Flip on the broiler.
2. Whisk eggs, cream, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Swirl the oil along the bottom and up the sides of a 9 1/2-inch cast iron or oven-proof skillet. Set the skillet over medium-low heat, add the shallot and saute, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the spinach, one handful at a time, turning with tongs so it wilts. Crank the heat up and saute for about 5 minutes, until the spinach weeps and moisture is evaporated, tossing a few times (you want it relatively dry). Lower the heat again.
5. Add the egg mixture, cheese, and tomatoes and cook until the frittata is three-quarters set, about 5 minutes, tilting the skillet now and again so the runny eggs slide toward the edges.
6. Broil until puffy and browned, 3-5 minutes, watching carefully. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, with balsamic vinegar for dribbling.POLENTA STUFFED CHARD with BUBBLY PARMESAN
These gorgeous green parcels, best eaten on a Sunday night in front of a fire, are both dramatic and comforting (think lasagna without the pasta, ricotta, or mozzarella). Use the largest Swiss chard leaves you can, and keep in mind the polenta will take a full hour to chill.
3/4 c. dry polenta (coarse cornmeal)
1 Tbs. butter
1 c. grated parmesan cheese, divided
3 Tbs. chopped basil
1 1/4 c. of your favorite marinara or tomato sauce, divided
8 very large chard leaves, swished in cold water
1. Coat a 9 1/2-inch square pan with oil and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups water and 1 tsp. salt to a boil. Whisk in polenta and reduce the heat to a gentle gurgle. Cook until thick, 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the butter, half the cheese, basil, and a generous pinch of pepper.
3. Scrape the polenta into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Cool for 15 minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour (after 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap). Unmold and cut into eight 4x2-inch rectangles. Wipe the baking pan dry and spread half of the marinara along the bottom.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bring a kettle of water to a boil. Have several paper towels on hand.
5. Make a narrow, upside-down V-shaped cut about halfway down each chard leaf to remove the thick central stem. Place leaves in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soften about 6 minutes. Remove to the paper towels and pat very dry.
6. To form the rolls, lay 1 chard leaf on a cutting board. Lay 1 polenta rectangle horizontally along the bottom of the leaf and spoon 1 teaspoon of marinara sauce on top. Roll the leaf up, burrito-style, encasing the polenta, and transfer to the baking pan, seam side down. Repeat, nestling the rolls next to one another. Spoon the remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
7. Bake for 10 minutes, then slip under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown the cheese. Serve hot.STRAWBERRY SALSA
Makes 1 2/3 cups (6 servings)
1 pound strawberries, hulled and diced
1/4 c. thinly sliced scallions
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/4 c. basil, chopped
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbs. sweetener (you may not need much, the berries have been so sweet I haven't used any sweetener)
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1.Gently mix ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Serve over tortilla chips, fish, or chicken.RADISH CURRY SAUTE
This curry recipe follows the basic principles of making Kerala style mezhukkupuratti.
1 bunch radishes, with leafy tops
1 small onion, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 small green chiles, crushed
1 pinch turmeric powder
oil for sauteing
1 pinch mustard seeds
a few basil leaves
sea salt to taste
1. Wash and roll the radish leaves together, then slice into long shreds. Set aside.
2. In a pan, heat some oil. When it is hot, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the basil and onions. Saute for 3-5 minutes, until edges of onions turn slightly brown.
3. Add the crushed garlic, chiles, and turmeric powder. Saute for about a minute or less.
4. Add the radishes, mix well, and add salt. Cook, covered, for 3-4 minutes.
5. Once the radish seems soft, remove the lid and crank up the heat. Saute on high for a couple of minutes. The radishes will be soft, yet crunchy.
6. After you remove the radishes from the pan onto a plate, in the same pan quickly saute the leaves for a few seconds and then add to the top of the radishes.
7. For best results, serve right off the stove. The dish takes less than 15 minutes; serve it at the very beginning of your meal.RADISH PACHADI
This dish is spicy and hot, and makes a wonderful side dish.
1/2 c. chopped radishes
a few radish leaves, cut into thin shreds
1 onion, fine diced
2-3 chilies of choice, seeded, and finely chopped (you can leave the seeds in if you qwant fiery hot!)
1/2 tsp. fresh chopped ginger
1 Tbs. finely chopped cilantro (I used the basil)
1 1/2 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. plain yogurt or more
1. Heat a small pan on medium heat. Add the oil and crack mustard seeds in the pan.
2. Add the onions, ginger, and chiles. Stir until soft and it turns slightly brown, about 4 minutes.
3. Add the radishes and leaves and cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from the stove. The radish will be just cooked and still have a bite to it.
4. Sprinkle with basil or cilantro just before you remove it from the stove. You can let it cool or store it in the refrigerator if not using immediately.
5. When ready to serve, take the sauteed ingredients and mix with yogurt. Adjust the salt, depending on the sourness of the yogurt. Serve immediately. If you let it sit foe a while, the yogurt gets a purple hue from the radishes. It is beautiful!KALE and RED QUINOA SALAD
Serves 6 or more
This is a recipe from Nava Atlas 'Wild About Greens.' I wanted to share this great dish with you!
1 c. red quinoa, rinsed in a sieve
10 ounces kale, de-stemmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 c. fresh or thawed corn kernels
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. halved cherry or grape tomatoes
2 Tbs. lemon juice, or more, to taste
1/4 c. minced basil or dill, to taste
sea salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 c. toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
1. Combine the quinoa with 2 c. water in a medium saucepan.
2. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 15 minutes until the stock is absorbed.
3. Allow the cooked quinoa to cool to room temperature.
4. In a large serving bowl, massage the kale by rubbing small amounts of olive oil in your palms and massaging the kale for 30-60 seconds, until it turns bright green and softens.
5. Add cooked quinoa to the kale in the serving bowl, along with the remaining ingredients.
6. Stir well, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and serve.SHAVED SUMMER SQUASH
3 Tbs. whole almonds
1 pound summer squash
2 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 minced garlic clove
sea salt and pepper
spinach, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
Peccorino cheese or parmesan
1. Toast almonds and coarsely crush. Meanwhile, trim the ends off the squash. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the squash lengthwise into strips and transfer to a large bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to taste. Pour dressing over squash. Let stand for a few minutes, then add a few handfuls of spinach. Shave a little Pecorino or parmesan cheese over the squash and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the crushed almonds. BUTTERMILK FARRO SALAD RECIPE
You can certainly substitute wheat berries, barley, or other plump grains . The salad is good warm, at room temperature, and chilled.
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
1 c. buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, you can add a Tbs. of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk and let it stand for about 15 minutes and it works like buttermilk!)
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. chopped dill
1/2 c. chopped chives or greens of scallion
1 Tbs. chopped thyme
7 radishes, sliced paper thin
3 summer squash, sliced paper thin
1 medium head fennel, trimmed and sliced paper thin
4 c. cooked farro or other grain
chopped chives or scallions for garnish
1. Combine garlic and salt on a cutting board. Mash into a paste using the flat side of your knife. Place in a medium jar or bowl, then add buttermilk and vinegar. Whisk together and let stand for 5 minutes or so. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, then the herbs.
2. In a large bowl gently toss the radishes, squash, and fennel, with the grains. Add 1 cup of the dressing and toss again. Let stand for 10 minutes, taste and adjust with more dressing, if needed, and salt to taste. Serve topped with the chives or scallions.CARROT and FENNEL SOUP
I know we didn't get fennel this week, but this is a simple, wonderful soup, so I thought I would share it anyway. Maybe you have a little fennel left from last week!
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium fennel bulbs, sliced fronds reserved
2 1/4 pounds carrots, thickly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
10 c. broth of choice
3c. cooked wild rice
2 Tbs. blood orange juice or orange juice
parmesan cheese for soup topping
1. Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add fennel and saute 3-4 minutes, until softened.
2. Stir in carrots and cook another 10 minutes to soften and start taking in some color. Stir in garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
3. Stir in broth. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer until carrots are tender, another 15 minutes or so.
4. Stir in wild rice, bring back to a simmer, taste, add more salt if needed.
5. Serve dusted with parmesan cheese and fennel fronds.