Julia Child’s Ratatouille

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. eggplant (1 medium sized or 2 small)
  • 1 lb. zucchini (2 medium
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4-6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 lb. (about 1 & 1/2 cups) thinly sliced yellow onions
  • 2 sliced red or green peppers (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. firm ripe tomatoes (about 2-3 baseball sized)
  • 3 Tbsp. minced parsley

DIRECTIONS

Peel the eggplant and cut into lengthwise slices 3/8″ thick, about 3″ long and 1″ wide.  Cut off the ends of the zucchini and cut into slices about the same size as the eggplant.  Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with 1 tsp. salt.  Let stand for 30 mins.  Drain & dry each slice in a towel.

One layer at a time, saute the eggplant and then the zucchini in 4 Tbsp. hot olive oil in a 10-12″ skillet for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly.  Remove to a side dish.

In the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers (add additional olive oil if necessary) for about 10 mins., until tender but not browned.  Stir in the garlic & season with salt & pepper to taste.

Slice tomato into 3/8″ strips.  Lay them over the onions and peppers.  Season with salt & pepper.  Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 mins. or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice.  Uncover, taste the tomatoes with the juices, raise heat and boil for several minutes until juice has almost entirely evaporated.

Place a third of the tomato mixture in the bottom of a 2 & 1/2 quart casserole (about 2.5″ deep).  Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. fresh, minced parsley over tomatoes.  Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half the remaining tomatoes and parsley.  Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.

Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 mins.  Uncover, tip the casserole and baste with the rendered juices.  Correct seasoning if necessary.  Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored olive oil.  Be careful of your heat; do not let the vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole!

Serves 6-8

Spicy Chopped Cucumber Couscous Salad

Cucumber & Couscous Salad My aunt sent this recipe to me.  I can’t wait to try it!
INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbl. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cooked Israeli (Pearl) couscous
  • 1 large cucumber, unpeeled, & cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 Tbl. chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbl. coarsely chopped roasted peanuts

Combine vinegar & sugar in a small microwave-safe bowl.

Microwave on high power for 20 seconds.  Remove from microwave and add red pepper flakes, salt & pepper to taste.  Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.  Set aside and allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine couscous, cucumber and cilantro.  Pour vinegar mixtrue over cucumber mixture.  Stir gently to blend.

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes for the flavors to infuse.

Serve salad cold or at room temperature with peanuts sprinkled on top.

Slow cooker swiss chard & lentil stew

From Cook’s Illustrated: The Best Make-Ahead Recipe.

Why this recipe works:
After some preliminary testing for our slow-cooker lentil and Swiss chard stew recipe, we decided that large brown and green lentils did the best job of retaining their texture, shape, and flavor through the all-day simmer. As the lentil and Swiss chard stew recipe progressed, we realized it needed more flavorful components to boost the lentils and chard, which, admittedly, tasted pretty thin. After testing a variety of additional ingredients, we most liked the earthiness of mushrooms—in particular, meaty portobello mushrooms pumped up with dried porcini.

PREP-AHEAD TIPS: You can store the following ingredients together, with the exception of the chard leaves:
1. Cook the onion-chard stem mixture as described in step 1, then transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate; prep the chard leaves and refrigerate.
2. Prep the carrots and refrigerate.
3. Prep the portobellos and refrigerate.
4. Pick over and rinse the lentils and refrigerate.

Serves 6 to 8
Be sure to choose large green or brown lentils and avoid red lentils or lentils du Puy, both of which will overcook. Carefully sort through the lentils to remove small stones and pebbles and then rinse.

Ingredients
•    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
•    3 medium onions , minced
•    1 pound Swiss chard , stems and leaves separated (see illustration below); stems cut into 1/4-inch pieces and leaves chopped coarse
•    6 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
•    Salt
•    6 cups vegetable broth
•    1 pound carrots , cut into 1-inch chunks
•    1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
•    12 ounces portobello mushroom caps , gills removed, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
•    7 ounces brown or green lentils (1 cup), rinsed and picked over
•    2 bay leaves
•    1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves , or 1 teaspoon dried
•    1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and minced
•    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
•    Ground black pepper
•    Extra-virgin olive oil (for serving, optional)
Instructions
1.    Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the onions, chard stems, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
2.    Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker insert and stir in the broth, carrots, tomato sauce, portobello mushrooms, lentils, bay leaves, thyme, and porcini mushrooms until evenly combined. Cover and cook on low until the soup is thickened and the lentils are tender, 8 to 10 hours. (Alternatively, cover and cook on high for 5 to 7 hours.)
3.    Remove and discard the bay leaves. Puree 2 cups of the soup in a blender until smooth, then stir back into the slow cooker insert. Stir in the chard leaves, cover, and continue to cook until the leaves are wilted and tender, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Stir in the vinegar, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Technique: Preparing Chard
Hold each leaf at the base of the stem over a bowl filled with water and use a sharp knife to slash the leafy portion from either side of the thick stem or hold the leaves, stacked, on a cutting board and run the knife along the sides of the stem.

Technique: Removing the Gills from Portobello Mushrooms
It is necessary to remove the black gills from the portobello mushrooms because they made the stew muddy in appearance. Using a soup spoon, scrape and discard the dark-colored gills from the underside of each mushroom.

I top mine with fried egg and some Sriracha!
Emily George (Happy Hollow Farm CORE group member)

Sauteed Lemon Maple Frisee


My farming friends Tom & Rebecca of Fair Share Farm found this recipe so Katie & I decided to try it….          It’s delicious!!!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 (1-pound) head frisée, torn
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook bread crumbs until crisp and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in zest and a pinch of salt.

Wipe out skillet, then add anchovy paste and remaining 2 Tbsp oil and cook 15 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high and sauté half of frisée until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Add remaining frisée and sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes more. Off heat, stir in juice, syrup, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Serve topped with bread crumbs and dried cranberries or other dried fruit.

Buttered Turnip Greens w/ Sesame & Feta

  • 2 Tbl. unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot or onion, minced
  • 1.5lbs. turnip greens, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbl. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup finely diced feta cheese
  • 1/2 Tbl. toasted sesame seeds

In a large frying pan melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat.  When butter has melted, add shallot/onion and cook 1 minute.  Add greens; wilt them, stirring every so often, for about 3 minutes.  Add stock and cook 3 minutes.  Add remaining butter, lemon & chili.  Season with salt & then add cheese.  Toss well & add sesame seeds.  Toss again and serve.

Kale Salad w/ Lemon-Parmesan Dressing

INGREDIENTS
• 8 cups kale, stems removed, finely chopped
• 3tblsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/2tsp. Dijon mustard
• 1/2tsp. salt
• 3tblsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 3tblsp. finely grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS
Place kale in a large salad bowl. In small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, Dijon, salt and olive oil. Whisk until well blended. Pour over greens and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese; toss to coat evenly. Serve

Roasted Veggies with Parsley Sauce

INGREDIENTS
• 1/2lb. carrots, peeled & cut into 1/4 inch sticks (peeling optional)
• 1/2lb. parsnips, peeled & cut into 1/4 inch sticks (could substitute turnips)
• 1/2lb. rutabaga, peeled & cut into 1/4 inch sticks
• 1/4c. plus 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra as needed
• 1tsp. kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
• 1/2c. tightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
• 1 1/2tblsp. capers, drained & rinsed
• 1 anchovy fillet, drained
• 1 1/2 garlic cloves
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 3 1/2c. bitter salad greens
• 3/4c. shaved semi-firm aged goat or cow cheese
• 2tsp. lemon juice

DIRECTIONS
Heat oven to 500 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, toss veggies w/ 2 tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Spread on a baking sheet and roast them, flipping halfway through, until tender and charred in spots, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a food processor, combine parsley, capers, anchovy, garlic, 1/4 cup oil and a pinch of pepper. Puree until contents are finely chopped and bright green. The sauce should be wet and slightly soupy, like a pesto. Add extra oil to loosen the mixture if needed. Transfer roasted vegetables to large mixing bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons parsley sauce. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Reserve remaining sauce for later. Toss greens with shaved cheese. Dress with 1&1/2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Pile dressed vegetables on top of or alongside salad and serve.

Citrouille Farcie (Stuffed pumpkin)

This incredibly dramatic French dish is perfect for a Halloween party.  This recipe is adapted from Patricia Deshaies Britton, a French woman now living in the U.S.  The recipe is from the southwest of France.  “It’s easy, friendly and fun with a nice table and good company,” she says.  Julia Child has a similar recipe she calls le potiron tout rond.  If you have any cut up pumpkin lying around, add to the mix.

 

Makes 10 to 12 servings as side dish

1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound bacon
1 Cinderella pumpkin
1 tablespoon soft butter
Salt, to taste
8 ounces gruyere, coarsely grated
1/2 pound creme fraiche (or 1 cup heavy cream)
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
Fresh thyme leaves, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Tear bread into small pieces, place on jellyroll pan and sprinkle with minced garlic. Heat in oven for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dried.
Meanwhile, cut bacon into dice and fry until crisp. Remove from grease with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towel-lined tray.
After bread is toasted, remove and turn oven up to 400 degrees.
With a sturdy knife, cut a cover off the pumpkin about 4 inches in diameter. Hold the knife at an angle while cutting. Scoop out the seeds and strings and either set aside to roast later or throw away (into your compost heap, of course.)
Butter the inside of the pumpkin and the underside of the lid with the softened butter. Season the inside of the pumpkin with salt.
Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (An alternative is to place the pumpkin in a pot or tureen in case it collapses. I lived dangerously.)
Inside the pumpkin, layer bread, bacon, cheese, creme fraiche or cream and sprinkle with salt, pepper, nutmeg and thyme. Repeat until pumpkin is full. Replace top on pumpkin and place in oven.
Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the pumpkin begins to soften on the outside and the filling begins to bubble. Turn tray once or twice during cooking.
Lower heat to 350 degrees and cook 1/2 hour more, until the pumpkin is tender but still holds its shape. If it’s getting too brown, cover it loosely with foil.
The pumpkin may be kept warm in a 200-degree oven for 1/2 hour. It does, however, stay hot for a very long time.
To serve, remove cover and dip into the pumpkin with a long-handled spoon, scraping the flesh off the pumpkin’s bottom and sides for each serving.

Braised Sweet Potato & Winter Squash

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds delicotta squash (or any winter squash), cut into 1” cubes
, 2-3 tsp Kosher salt, 
1-2 Tbsp sugar
, 2 cups coconut milk, 
2 cups water
, 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1” cubes
Cilantro sprigs, to garnish

Instructions

Place squash, salt, sugar, coconut milk and water in a large heavy bottomed saucepot.  The squash should be covered by about ¾.  Bring to a boil, and turn down to a simmer.  Cook uncovered until softened, at least 15 minutes.  Add the sweet potatoes, and cook until tender. Liquid should be thick and reduced.
Taste for seasoning.  The dish should be a little sweet, a little salty, and creamy.
Garnish with the cilantro sprigs.

Serves 4

Thanks to CSA member Liz Lance for passing on this recipe from the Hands On Gourmet website!

Broccoli raab w/ Asian Flavors

Serves 4.   Published January 1, 1999.   From Cook’s Illustrated Magazine
Why this recipe works:
We wanted to develop a dependable, quick broccoli recipe that would deliver less bitterness and a rounder, more balanced flavor. We found that blanching the raab in a large amount of salted water tamed its bitterness. Then we sautéed the blanched raab with ingredients that complemented its strong flavor, such as garlic, red pepper flakes, or sun-dried tomatoes.
Using a salad spinner makes easy work of drying the cooled blanched broccoli raab.

Ingredients
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
• 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
• 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
• 1 bunch broccoli raab (about 14 ounces), washed, bottom 2 inches of stems trimmed and discarded, remainder cut into 1-inch pieces
• 2 teaspoons table salt
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 3 medium cloves garlic , minced
• 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
• Table salt

Instructions
1. Mix soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, Asian sesame oil, and sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
2. Bring 3 quarts water to boil in large saucepan. Stir in broccoli raab and salt and cook until wilted and tender, about 2 1/2 minutes. Drain broccoli raab and set aside.
3. Cool empty saucepan by rinsing under cold running water. Fill cooled saucepan with cold water and submerge broccoli raab to stop the cooking process. Drain again; squeeze well to dry.
4. Heat oil, garlic, red pepper, and fresh ginger in medium skillet over medium heat until garlic begins to sizzle, about 3 to 4 minutes. Increase heat to medium high, add blanched broccoli raab and reserved soy sauce mixture and cook, stirring to coat, until heated through, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt; serve immediately.

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well,
if one has not dined well.
-Virginia Woolf