[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.]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BRAISED CABBAGE and CARROTS with MINT and CIDER VINEGAR
Braising is a great technique for infusing greens and vegetables with flavor. Braising cabbage brings out its natural sweetness. Apple cider vinegar adds brightness to the dish and aids in digestion.
3 lbs. cabbage
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, sliced
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, to taste
1/2 cup mint, chiffonade (cut into ribbons)
1. Cut the cabbage into quarters and cut out the core. Chop into 1 inch pieces.
2. Heat a large wide pan over medium heat. Add the butter, onion, carrot, and cabbage and season with salt and pepper. Saute for a few minutes, or until onions are translucent.
3. Add stock and vinegar. Bring to a boil then turn heat down to a simmer and cover. Allow to cook until almost all the liquid is cooked, about 45 minutes. Season again if necessary.
4. Remove to a platter and garnish with mint.SMOKY HERBED COLESLAW
1 pound cabbage, cored and finely shredded
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed oregano leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon oil of choice
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon smoky paprika
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1.Combine the cabbage, carrot, onion, and herbs in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt and seet aside.
2. Heat oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Add mustard, honey, vinegar, and paprika and stir to combine. Stir in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Taste to adjust.
3. Pour warm dressing over vegetables and mix well.GREEN BEANS, TOASTED PECANS and BLUE CHEESE
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup teaspoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup pecans
1 1/2 pounds green beans
3 ounces blue cheese
1. in a large bowl whisk together mustard, vinegar, shallot, and 1 tablespoon oil to make the dressing.
2. In a small heavy skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over high heat until hot but not smoking and saute pecans with salt to taste, stirring frequently, until a shade darker, about 1 minute. Transfer nuts to paper towels to drain and cool. Coarsely chop nuts.
3. Have ready a bowl of ice water. In a large saucepan of boiling, salted water blanch the green beans until just tender, about 3 minutes, and drain to a colander. Transfer beans to ice water, stirring until just cool. Drain beans well and add to dressing. Crumble blue cheese over beans and gently toss with half of nuts and salt and pepper to taste. Serve beans at room temperature topped with the remaining nuts.SPINACH MOUNTAIN
2 pounds spinach, rinsed well
2 teaspoons golden raisins
freshly ground nutmeg to taste (remember nutmeg is strong, so start out with a small amount - you can always add more)
sea salt and pepper to taste
4-5 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
1. Cook spinach in a large pan with just the water that clings to the leaves for about 6-8 minutes until just tender then finely chop.
2. Mix in raisins, nutmeg and seasoning, then pile on to a serving platter, and pour the cream over the top. Serve at once. FASSOULIA (SEPHARDIC GREEN BEANS)
This stewed green bean dish is slow cooked to allow all the flavors to gently marry. If you prefer your green beans crisp-tender, reduce the simmering time by half. Serve as a main dish by adding toasted, chopped almonds and a bulghur pilaf.
1/8 cup olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes
2 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved
1/4 teaspoon allspice, ground
1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper
sea salt to taste
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, optional
1/4 cup chopped almonds for garnish, optional
1. Saute the onions and garlic in a skillet with the olive oil until onions are golden.
2. Mix in tomatoes and green beans, add the spices and continue to saute for 5 minutes more.
3. Stir in the water and optional sugar, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes until the beans are very tender. Remember if you like tender-crisp beans reduce the cooking time. If you want a thicker sauce, reduce the amount of water. Check for desired consistency while beans are cooking.
4. Garnish with chopped almonds.SALAD NOT-COISE
This recipe comes from the people at Terra Firma Farms - I changed it up a bit by adding spinach and arugula for a nice twist. You can omit the anchovies to make it vegetarian.
1 pound ripe tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
sea salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound potatoes
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 anchovy filets, mashed
6-8 nicoise or other good olives, pitted and chopped
red wine vinegar to taste
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
1/2 bunch spinach, washed and dried
1/2 bunch arugula, washed and dried
1. Place tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. When tomatoes have released their juices, after about 10 minutes, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook the potatoes until just tender enough to stick a sharp knife into them easily, about 10 minutes.
3. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl of cold water, reserving the cooking liquid. When the potatoes are cool, cut the into half-rounds.
4. Refill the bowl with ice water. Place the green beans in the reserved cooking liquid from the potatoes and cook until they turn bright green, 3-4 minutes. Transfer beans to the cold water bath. When cool, drain and pat dry and cut into 2-3 pieces.
5. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil into skillet. Add the garlic and anchovies, and cook until the garlic is soft, but not brown, about 1 minute.
6. Place the potatoes and green beans in a large bowl; add the garlic-anchovy mixture, and toss to coat. Add the tomatoes with their juices and olives. Add salt and red wine vinegar to taste.
7. Just before serving, mix the arugula and spinach in a large bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar - just enough to lightly coat. Place the greens on a platter and top with the the salad mixture.Garnish with the eggs.STRAWBERRY SOUP
I found this recipe in an old cookbook entitled "Menus A Trois, 1987" so I thought I would share another strawberry soup recipe.
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup Bordeaux
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 quart strawberries, hulled, washed, and pureed (save 2 whole berries)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sour cream
1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a saucepan, and boil them uncovered over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add strawberry puree, and boil for ann additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Skim off any foam.
3. Cool and chill soup in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until it is completely chilled.
4. Prior to serving, whip the cream, and combine it with the sour cream.
5. Fold the cream mixture into the chilled strawberry soup.
6. Garnish each serving with half a strawberry.