Greeting to everyone! Aahhh... this Autumn weather is so hypnotic, with the changing colors, crisp, clear air and amazing wispy clouds. I hope you all are continuing to enjoy all the wonderful produce we are getting! I find it so inspiring to open my box each week and begin to plan what delights to create. Sharing recipes has been such a joy as well; I do hope you are able to use and are having fun with them! I would also like to take a moment offer my huge GRATITUDE to Debbie for guiding me with this recipe column. She organizes my sometimes garbled recipes so they make sense for you. Debbie, you are awesome THANK YOU for your patience, kindness, and brilliance every step of the way. You make it possible for me to share what I so passionately love to do. [Aw, shucks, 'tain't nuthin! - Debbie] So cook, eat, enjoy health and delight in all this CSA goodness... Sweet week to all with 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.]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DELICATA SQUASH with PEARS and CHILI-BROWN SUGAR
4 servings, about 3/4 cup each
Delicata squash is milder and not as sweet as other winter squash. It pairs well with hearty winter dishes. It has a thin skin so there is no need to peel it (you can eat the peel). It is a great source of beta-carotene -- the same compound the body converts to vitamin A, essential for healthy skin, vision, and a strong immune system. Try it roasted with red onion and aromatic rosemary or juicy pears and a dash of chili powder. It steams up beautifully, too. It is simple and festive tossed with dried fruit and toasted nuts. Or saute thin slices with orange juice and a sprinkling of pistachios.
1 pound delicata squash (about 1 large)
2 medium-sized ripe but firm pears, sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 slices bacon (optional)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1. preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out seeds. Cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices. Toss in a large bowl with pear slices, oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet.
3. Roast squash and pears until just tender, stirring once or twice, 20-25 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, cook bacon (if using) in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 4-6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
5. Discard all but 2 teaspoons of fat from pan. If not using bacon, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to pan and continue. Over medium heat, stir in water, brown sugar, and chili powder. Add the squash and pears; toss to coat. Crumble bacon on top.
[Yum... this sounds delish, Rebecca! - Debbie]FRESH APPLE SQUARES
Yields 16 squares
You will love how simple these are to make! The dough does double-duty as the crust and streusel topping. Try topped with cinnamon ice cream.
1/2 cup flour of choice (I use brown rice flour to make it gluten-free)
1 cup old-fashioned oats (Bob's Red Mill has gluten-free oats)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (using fresh nutmeg makes a huge difference in taste!)
3 tablespoons oil of choice
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed
2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch square pan with oil (I like to use coconut oil).
2. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Work in oil and apple juice concentrate with your fingers until coarse crumbs form.
3 Press 2 cups of the oat mixture into a prepared pan. Arrange apples over crust in three rows. Mix walnuts into remaining oat mixture to form streusel topping; spread evenly over apples and pat down firmly.
4. Bake until top is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 30-35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
SAUTEED HERB SALAD with CHLI and PRESERVED LEMON
This is a Moroccan dish that Karen and I used in a class we taught last week. Thank you, Karen, for such an amazing dish! If you don't have preserved lemon, just add a little lemon juice, about 1 tablespoon.
large bunch of flat leaf parsley
large bunch of fresh mint
large bunch of arugula
large bunch of spinach
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves (divided)
1 red chili
1/2 preserved lemon
sea salt and pepper to taste
2-4 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1. Roughly chop herbs, arugula, and spinach.
2. Seed and finely chop chili.
3. Peel and mince one clove of garlic.
4. Crush the other clove of garlic into yogurt and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
5. Heat oil in a wide, heavy pan. Stir in minced garlic and chili and cook until they begin to color.
6. Toss in herbs and greens and saute gently, until they begin to soften and wilt.
7. Add the preserved lemon and season to taste.
8. Serve the salad warm with a dollop of garlic-flavored yogurt on top.RIGATONI with ROASTED BEETS and ARUGULA
7 raw beets, unpeeled
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1/2 teaspoon zested orange rind
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons walnut oil
sea salt and black pepper to taste
12 ounces rigatoni
3 cups arugula
1 cup Dolcelatte or Gorgonzola cheese, cut into small cubes
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Wrap beets individually in parchment paper then aluminum foil and roast for 1-1/2 hours or until tender. Test them by opening one of the parcels and scraping the skin away from the stem end - it should come away easily.
2. Let beets rest until cool enough to handle, then peel and cut each beet into 6 to 8 wedges, depending on the size. Combine the garlic, orange zest and juice, lemon juice, walnut oil, and salt and pepper together and drizzle over beets and toss well to coat.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of slightly salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta for 10 minutes, or until cooked but firm.
4. Drain the pasta thoroughly. Add the warm beets, arugula, and cheese. Quickly and gently toss together, then divide between serving bowls and serve immediately before the arugula wilts.WARM TOMATO and LEEK SALAD with HONEY-LIME DRESSING
1 bunch baby leeks
2 medium-sized firm, ripe tomatoes
2 shallots, peeled and cut into thin wedges
For honey-lime dressing:
2 tablespoons honey
grated rind of 1 lime
4 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
sea salt and pepper to taste
freshly chopped tarragon and freshly chopped basil to garnish
1. Wash and then trim leeks so they are same length. Place in a steamer over a pan of boiling water and steam for 8 minutes, or until just tender. Drain leeks thoroughly and arrange in a shallow rectangular dish.
2. Peel tomatoes: Cut an "X" in the top the tomatoes, place in a bowl and cover them with boiling water until their skins start to peel away. Remove tomatoes from bowl and carefully remove skins. [Another way to do this is to have a pot of water boiling on the stove, drop the "X'd" tomatoes in and watch carefully for the first signs of the skin splitting (the "X" is to promote the splitting). As soon as splitting begins, pluck them out of the pot and drop them into a bowl of ice water until cool enough to handle. The skins should slip off easily. - Debbie]
3. Cut the peeled tomatoes into quarters, remove seeds, then chop into cubes. Distribute chopped tomatoes and the shallots over the top of leeks.
4. In a small bowl make the dressing by whisking together honey, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, mustard, and salt and pepper. Pour 3 tablespoons of this over the leeks and tomatoes and then garnish with tarragon and basil. Serve while the the leeks are still warm, with the remaining dressing on the side for those who want more.BROCCOLINI with ROASTED PEPPERS, CAPERS and OLIVES
2 sweet peppers
olive oil for the peppers
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon capers
12 olives - Kalamata, Nicoise or Gaeta
3 scallions, white parts with some green, finely sliced
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon marjoram, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Balsamic vinegar to taste
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch broccolini
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Halve peppers lengthwise, remove veins and seeds, then brush all sides with olive oil. Set them on a baking tray skin side up and bake until skins are wrinkled and lightly colored. When cool enough to handle, scrape off the skins. Slice peppers into strips roughly 1/2 inch wide, and mix them with olive oil, capers, olives, scallions, parsley, marjoram, red pepper flakes, adding balsamic vinegar to taste. Season with salt.
2. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. While it is heating, trim broccolini stalks as needed by cutting off the tough ends. When the water is boiling, add a teaspoon of salt and cook the broccolini in 2 to 3 separate batches for about 30 seconds, to just blanch. Scoop out each batch and set in a colander or on a tea towel to drain.
3. Combine the broccolini with the rest of the ingredients and toss together. Taste for salt, add more oil or vinegar if needed, and a grinding of black pepper. If you don't plan to serve the salad right away, wait to add the final vinegar until just before serving to prevent colors from fading.
Variations: Use lemon juice and finely slivered lemon peel instead of vinegar. Sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced into strips, may also be added to this dish.