Oooh boy, Tom didn't write much
this week, so I've the luxury of lots of room for recipes ('course we're talking
about the print version -- here on the web I've got all the room I want)! Anyway,
I had this wild-hair idea: how 'bout instead of 'recipes', l give you a week-in-the-life-of-Debbie's-Kitchen
scenario, telling just how I might go about using every item on the list this
week? - Debbie
Broccoli: I love making a broccoli-cheddar pasta. Put a pot of salted water on to boil. Meanwhile, cut your broccoli into florettes (stems can be peeled and cut into bite-sized sticks). Grate up a goodly pile of cheddar. Have butter, flour and milk standing by. Dump some penne into the boiling water (takes about 10 minutes or so to cook). When there are about 4 minutes left on the timer, dump the broccoli in with the penne. Melt a tbsp. or two of butter in a skillet over med-lo heat; whisk in a wee bit of flour (maybe a teaspoon) and when it is all incorporated pour in enough milk (maybe 1/4 C or so), all the while whisking, to make a slightly thickened roux. When the pasta/broccoli has about 1 minute left to cook, dump the grated cheddar into the roux and whisk until melted. You should have a nice creamy cheese sauce! Brrring!! Pasta and broccoli are done! Drain well and then add to cheese sauce (or visa-versa) and serve!
Cantaloupe: Not too hard... cut it open, scoop out seeds, cut in slices and peel. Eat á lá carte, or wrap some proscuitto around the slices and serve as an appetizer. Or cut into bite-sized pieces and serve with a scoop of cottage cheese.
Carrots: These are a staple, like potatoes. Versatile: peeling is optional, cooking is too, but I do recommend scrubbing clean with water and a vegetable brush! Cut them into pieces and boil in a little water for 10 minutes. Drain off water and add a little butter, honey and salt to the pan. Simmer until glossy. Grate 'em raw into salads, or eat 'em raw as sticks... with or without a dip.
Chard: Wash, chop, steam, sprinkle with vinegar and salt. Or wash, chop, sauté in a little garlic and oil, then add some walnuts, and dress with a splash each of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.
Cucumbers: Quick 'n dirty: peel, slice thinly into a shallow bowl, sprinkle w/salt and pepper, add some red wine vinegar and a splash of water. Spoon the vinegar mixture over the cukes until it seems well distributed. Plunk on the table with forks for everyone.
Garlic: eeek, I use this for everything! Chopped or crushed into marinades or salad dressings, minced and sautéed with chard (above). I'll wait to tell you about roasting it 'til the weather is a little cooler though...
Kohlrabi: I've got a routine for these babies now. Cut the greens from the bulbs, wash and store separately. Chop and saute greens like chard, or chop and toss into soups or stir-frys. My fave thing to do with the bulbs is just peel, cut in half, and slice into half-moons for use as a crudité, or throw into a stir-fry or soup.
Lettuce: Salads! If it is romaine, I like to make a caesar (email me if you want to know how to make the dressing). The leaves make good 'scoops' for cold pasta and grain salads too. Red and butter leaf lettuces are good with either fruity or savory dressings. Try lime-soy-garlic-olive oil-cilantro, and crumble in some feta and toss in a few kalamata olives if you have 'em.
Onion: Not like anyone needs instructions for these, but... reds I like to slice thinly into salads with fruit and cheese, or chop/slice and add to cooked dishes where the color complements the other ingredients. (see Summer Squash, below, for example)
Potatoes: I always wash 'em but never peel 'em. Make mashed potatoes, clam-potato-carrot pasta (or soup) or pan-fry with lots of garlic until all is brown, add salt and pepper, and eat for breakfast!
Radiccio: Other than for salads (it is pretty bitter, so offset it with a sweet or fruity dressing), I discovered you can cut it in wedges, brush with oil (I always use olive oil), sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill!
Spinach: cook same as I would chard, or use fresh in salads.
Summer Squash: Cut up and steam, slice raw into salads, or add to stir-frys and pasta sauces. I made a pretty side-dish sauté with sliced squash (light green), carrots (orange) and red onion (purple), then dressed w/melted butter, minced parsley (dark green) and some salt!
Strawberries: Easy! I use 'em in agua fresca, in daquiris, cut into cereal, or sliced onto buttered-honeyed toast! Not to mention strawberry-rhubarb (or strawberry-rhubarb-nectarine) pie!!
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