Greetings to all - Fall is really settling in, with its colder weather and days getting dark so much earlier. I find this change to the seasons quite complementary to cozying up and cooking hearty dishes; they fill the house with such comfort, good smells, and lots of love. So find yourself a big pot and fill it with the amazing and vibrant produce we are receiving to nurture yourselves and family and friends. I want to send a special thanks to Thomas and all the wonderful people who keep the farm going... as well as a special thanks to all of you for your support! May you celebrate a joyous Thanksgiving that carries throughout the year. With blessings and GRATITUDE, 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.]
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SAUTEED ROMANESCO CAULIFLOWER with PINE NUTS and GARLIC
This simple saute preserves the beautiful look of the Romanesco. You can substitute either broccoli or other types of cauliflower in this recipe. Make sure not to overcook the vegetables though!
1 Romanesco cauliflower (or two if small)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons thinly sliced shallots
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red chiles
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Remove the tough edges of the cauliflower and separate the florets taking care not to break the individual florets.
2. Wash florets and place them in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons water. Bring this to a boil and close the pan with a tight lid. Let it cook for 2 minutes on medium heat, then remove and immediately plunge florets in cold water to stop the cooking.
3. Heat a large pan and dry-toast the pine nuts in it; remove and set aside.
4. Add the oil to the large pan and saute the shallots until soft. Season with salt and crushed chiles. Stir in the garlic and drained cauliflower florets and saute gently on high heat for 2 minutes. Add the pine nuts and remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and mix well. Serve warm.CUCUMBER and RADISH SALAD
Yield: 7 cups
1 1/2 cups unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 whole allspice berries
1 whole bay leaf
1 bunch radishes, stemmed and quartered
6 cups 1/2-inch pieces of peeled cucumber
1 small Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and pepper
1. Bring first seven ingredients to a simmer in a small saucepan. Place radishes in a heatproof container; pour mixture over. Chill for at least 5 hours and up to a week.
2. Before serving, add cucumber and let sit for 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in onion and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Sometimes I just make the radishes and add the onion and olive oil when the radishes are ready without the cucumbers. This is a great way to preserve the radishes and they are so yummy!EMERALD KALE SALAD with BERRY VINAIGRETTE
Yield-6 snack-size servings
This is a vibrant fall salad that uses a nutrient dense and wonderful green typically only used in cooked dishes. To tenderize the greens they are massaged with a little sea salt, making them tender and delicious.
1/2 cup red onion, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 large bunch kale, stems removed, finely chopped
2 cups shitake mushrooms (optional), thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 medium Fuyu persimmons, diced
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds, or other seasonal fruit (the pomegranate seeds make this salad spectacular!)
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1. Place the onions in a small bowl wit the apple cider vinegar and cover with water. Let soak for 20 minutes. Rinse and squeeze out any extra moisture.
2. Place prepared kale and optional mushrooms in a large bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. With your hands, massage the mixture, kneading and squeezing gently until the vegetables begin to wilt.
3. Add onion, persimmon and pomegranate seeds to the greens. Toss to combine.
4. Whisk together the raspberry vinegar and lemon juice. Drizzle in the olive oil and whisk continuously until emulsified. Season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Add just enough dressing to the salad to coat the ingredients and toss. Add in the pumpkin seeds, toss again, and serve.
5. To make this a hearty dish you can add 2 cups cooked wild rice and a little more of the vinaigrette.BUTTERNUT SQUASH and LENTIL STEW
Makes 6 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, trimmed and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 cups stock of choice
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups French green lentils, picked through (you can substitute brown or regular green lentils)
3/4 teaspoons sea salt
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2 cups tightly packed spinach (optional)
1. Heat oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion and cook 5 minutes. Add squash and season with chili powder and ground cumin. Cook 1 minute.
2. Stir in broth, tomatoes, 1/2 cup water, and lentils. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and add sea salt. Simmer, uncovered, an additional 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro and spinach, if using. Adjust stew to your desired consistency. SPRING ONION and CELERY BUNDLES
4 celery stalks (or more)
24 green onions
1-2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon arrowroot or non-GMO cornstarch
1 teaspoon water
1. Cut celery into 4-inch lengths, then into strips the same thickness as the green onions. Cut the root from the onions. Cut the onions into 4-inch lengths. Reserve spring onion tops for ties.
2. Plunge onion tops into boiling water for 30 seconds or until they are bright green, then plunge immediately into ice water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
3. Combine spring onions and celery sticks. Divide into 7 bundles. Tie each bundle firmly with a spring onion top.
4. Heat butter in a frying pan. Fry bundles quickly over medium-high heat for 1 minute on each side. Remove from pan. Add celery seeds and cook 30 seconds. Add honey, stock, soy sauce, and blended arrowroot with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, stirring constantly. Add the spring onion and celery bundles. Simmer gently for 7 minutes, or until bundles are just tender. Serve immediately with cooking liquid.
5. You can add strips of butternut squash that are the same size to the bundle for a little twist, or zucchini, or parsnip, or carrot, or asparagus...BABA GANNOUJ
This dip is a favorite appetizer in the Middle East. It can be made in advance, covered, and refrigerated. Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds and is available in heath food stores and supermarkets.
2 small eggplants, halved lengthwise
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees F. Sprinkle the eggplant flesh with salt and set aside for 15 minutes. Rub off the salt and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Place eggplant, flesh side up, on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the flesh is soft. Peel off skin and discard.
3. Place eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, and olive oil in a food processor. Process for 30 seconds or until smooth. Season with salt to taste. Garnish with mint and serve with pita bread or lavash bread wedges.BAKED EGGPLANT with FETA CHEESE
An easy appetizer or a whole meal for eggplant lovers
1 large or 2 medium eggplants
1/3 cup feta cheese or Gorgonzola
1/3 cup finely chopped and packed basil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or heat a charcoal or BBQ grill).
2. Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch slices. Brush with olive oil and either grill them or broil until lightly browned on one side. Arrange slices browoned-side down on an oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle cheese over slices. Bake until cheese is bubbly and eggplant slices are soft. Remove from oven and sprinkle with basil. Serve hot.SWEET and SOUR CABBAGE ROLLS
Lean ground turkey and brown rice seasoned with fresh dill and caraway seeds makes a moist filling for these stuffed cabbage rolls. They are baked in a combination of tomato sauce, lemon juice, and honey for the familiar sweet-sour flavor typical of this dish.
1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup water
1 large cabbage
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
1 pound lean ground turkey
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups unsalted tomato sauce
1 cup chicken stock (low-sodium)
1 tablespoon honey
1. Bring rice and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the water is absorbed, 25-30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, bring a Dutch oven full of water to a boil over high heat. Boil the 12 largest outer cabbage leaves for 6 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool water until room temperature. Chop enough of he remaining cabbage to equal 2 cups. (Save the rest for another use.)
3. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and chopped cabbage. Cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic; cook, stirring, another 30 seconds. Add 4 tablespoons lemon juice and cook, stirring, until the liquid has almost evaporated. Let cool 10 minutes.
4. Mix turkey, dill, caraway, salt, pepper, and cooled onion mixture in a large bowl.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-13 inch pan with oil.
6. Lay one of the cabbage leaves on your work surface; cut out the thick stem. Place about 1/3 cup of the turkey mixture in the leaf's center. Fold the sides over the filing, then roll closed. Place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves and filling. Whisk tomato sauce, broth, honey, and remaining lemon juice in a medium bowl. Pour evenly over the cabbage rolls. Cover tightly with parchment paper then aluminum foil.
7. Bake cabbage rolls for 1 hour. Uncover and continue baking, basting the rolls with the sauce several times, for 20 minutes more.LEMONY LEEK SOUP
The subtle flavors of the leek, lemon, and herbs combine perfectly in this silky smooth soup. Makes a memorable first course or a complete dish.
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups (about 8) thinly sliced leeks
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
6 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh marjoram or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4 cup brown rice
1/2 cup milk or milk alternative (I use coconut milk)
sea salt and white pepper to taste
sour cream or yogurt and
3 tablespoons minced chives, for garnish
1. In a 4-5 quart saucepan, heat butter and oil; add leeks, carrot and celery and saute until softened.
2. Add chicken stock, lemon zest, lemon juice, marjoram, parsley, and rice and simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes until vegetables are very tender.
3. Puree in batches in a blender or food processor. Pour mixture back into saucepan; add milk, salt, and white pepper to taste. If soup is too thick, add extra milk or stock.
4. Heat soup through, but do not boil. Serve hot or cold, sprinkled with chives add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.