Falling Down to the Root Cellar
Real easy, very yummy:
Stuff You Need:
Five small (somewhere between cherry tomoto and small slicing) tomatoes
A large handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
2 green onions
2 stalks green garlic, from the bulb to the scape
A few tablespoons garlic/veggie broth
Olive oil, salt, pepper, pasta
Stuff You Do:
1. Put on water for pasta, enough for 3/4-1 whole box
2. Chop garlic and the white part of green onions.
3. Put them in the pan with olive oil, veggie broth, salt, and pepper and saute on low heat.
4. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and add them to the pan with the finely chopped basil.
5. Add green parts of green onions (scallion parts)
6. Cook on low heat for another 5-10 minutes, until the pasta is ready.
7. Toss pasta with sauce and top with mozzarella or parmesan. Rejoice in the reappearance of tomatoes and basil.
CSA + Farmers’ Market = One Metric Ton of Food (just kidding, but our lives are wicked full of awesome veggies)
Happy Summer Solstice: Longest day is here, with our longest veggie list yet.
Red Swiss Chard
Red Russian Kale
Scapes (the lovely curly tops of garlic plants – if you don’t break them off the garlic grows a nice flower instead of a big bulb, so growers always break off the scapes)
Sugar Snap Peas
Ken and Maryellen at Free Bird Farm (where the queer two of us worked for a summer) are some of the most wonderful and kind people we know and we are thrilled to be in their CSA. This week from our truly fantastic farmers we got:
1 head of red lettuce
1/2 lb of spinach
1/3 pound of arugula
just under 1/2 lb of salad mix
1 bunch of radishes
1 bunch of spring onions
1 head of pac choi
1 quart of strawberries
(and, since I work at this farm too, eggs and green garlic!)
Potato Croquette Recipe Modifed from Mark Bittman How to Cook Everything Vegetarian:
~3 cups mashed potatoes (we did blue potaotes! Make them with as little milk as possible and no butter. Also stir in a couple tablespoons of chopped parsley, black pepper, salt, paprika, and garlic powder.)
A generous handful of parsley, chopped finely
A generous handful or two of spinach, stems removed and chopped finely
3 stalks green garlic, minced
A handful of chives or spring onion, minced
2 large portobello mushrooms, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
A potent and delicious combination of butter and olive oil for frying
Breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs (we used Ritz cracker crumbs and it was great)
Flour or matzo meal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1. Make the mashed potatoes like this:
Wash four medium potatoes and chop them into one inch pieces.
Put the potatoes in a pot of water (we added one cube of garlic broth, you could add a bouillon cube or some veggie stock if you don’t have garlic broth). Add some salt and two tablespoons of chopped parsley. Cover the pot so it boils faster, but keep and eye on it because it will spill over.
Boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes or until they are soft to a fork.
Strain and mash up with a spoon or fork. You can save a little of the potato water for your own stock, but beware, it is powerful stuff.
Add the remaining spices: garlic powder, pepper, more salt, and paprika. Keep adding, stirring, and tasting until the masted potatoes are delicious.
2. While you’re making the mashed potatoes, do all the washing and chopping of greens and mushrooms. Then saute the parsley, spinach, garlic, spring onions, and mushrooms in plenty of olive oil until fairly soft. Probably only a few minutes. They will cook more later.
3. Next, set up the breading area in this order: a plate with a cup of flour on it; a wide shallow bowl with the lightly beaten eggs in it; a plate with the breadcrumbs. You ideally want this set up so that moving left to right (or right to left if you’re a lefty) you can go through these dishes and straight into the frying pan. The croquettes can be quite delicate.
4. Mix together all the various veggies and mashed potatoes in one pot. This is your croquette batter. meanwhile, melt at least 2 tablespoons of butter and a fair amount of oil in your frying pan so that the bottom is fully covered. Less than deep frying more than sauteing. Shut off the heat once the butter is melted.
5. Now, make the croquettes. Take about 1/4-1/3 of a cup of the batter in your hands and shape it into a burger-shaped patty. Dip it gently into the flour so that all sides are covered. Next, carefully lay it in the egg, first one side then the other. Last, very carefully dip it in the breadcrumbs on both sides. The patties will get progressively more fragile as you go so work quickly and careuflly. Finally, lay each patty in the frying pan (off the heat, but warmed) until you have 3-4 in there. Then put the pan back on the burner and get to work frying.
6. Each side needs to fry for about 5 minutes. The insides are already cooked, so just focus on getting the outsides brown and crispy, but not burnt. These are very forgiving to fry and best eaten immediately. (Though they do make an excellent breakfast the next morning, just fried again in a little more oil.)
This week we only got a few things at market since our CSA share has started up. Our CSA share, part of working part-time at the farm, is great and we are super excited, but we still want to support the market. And we also just plain eat a ton of veggies. So, a smaller veggie list:
broccoli!!!! The season’s first!
Since we have such an abundance of greens right now, we’ve been making a range of green pasta sauces. It’s amazing how many greens taste good on pasta, and how great they are no matter how often you eat them. So, several green pasta sauce ideas:
1 bunch parsley
1 head of garlic or 3-4 stalks of green garlic (the more the better)
Olive oil or butter
While making a box of pasta, wash and roughly chop the parsley and finely chop the garlic. When the pasta is done put the parsley and garlic in the still-warm pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil or butter. Stir it for a minute or two to coat in oil then add the pasta and mix. It’s great on its own or with any kind of cheese and lots of salt and pepper.
1/2 bunch of cilantro
3 ramps, tops and bottoms
1 stalk of green garlic
a handful of arugula
Put all of these great things in a food processor with 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. It makes a lovely, light pesto and is great with a little Parmesan.
½ bunch of kale
½ a head of garlic or some green garlic stalks
Juice of ½ a lemon
Optional: Portobello mushrooms
Chop the kale into smallish pieces and cut the garlic into whatever shape you like. Cook the garlic (and mushrooms-cut into small pieces) in the olive oil over low heat. When the pasta is nearly done, add the kale to the garlic, stir, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water or veggie stock and cover for 3-4 minutes. Uncover and turn off the heat. The kale should be starting to wilt. Add the lemon juice. If you cook it until done then it will become mushy on the pasta, so better to stop early. Mix it up with the pasta and eat right away.
Last week, seeing as we had the panini grill out (admittedly an odd graduation present but one which has proved extremely useful) S decided to make crepes for dinner. Then, since there was batter left over, she went ahead and made crepes for dessert. Then, since there was still some batter left over, I made crepes the following morning for breakfast. There is certainly nothing like starting the day out with an asparagus and arugula crepe.
The batter recipe is from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian.
So, for dinner we had this:
That is, finely chopped portobello mushrooms, cured and green garlic, chives, arugula, ramps, local rosemary-fig goat cheese, and a drizzle of heavy cream.
Then for dessert this:
Then breakfast (sorry, at 7:45am I don’t take pictures):
Asparagus, chives, green garlic, arugula, salt and plenty of pepper.
Recipe for Batter:
Whisk together a cup of all-purpose flour, a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, two eggs, and 1 and 1/4 cups milk, in a blender if you’ve got one (we don’t). If it’s not pourable, mix in a little more milk.
Let it sit in the fridge for an hour. It can be used for up to 24 hours, if you are the kind of person who would prep a meal a day in advance (if you also iron your socks, seek help!)
When you’re all ready to crepe, put an 8-10 inch non-stick skillet on medium heat, and wait a few minutes before adding a pat of butter. Stir the batter and use a large spoon or ladle to pour a couple of tablespoons of batter onto the skillet. Swirl it around so it forms a thin layer on the bottom of the pan. When the top is dry, after about a minute, then flip it and cook the other side for about 15 to 30 seconds. It should be only very slightly brown and not crispy. Do not freak out if you screw up the first one or several, even pros mess up this fickle chemistry. Just try again!
Put the filling in the bottom third, and use a spatula/your fingers (it only burns a little, totally worth it) to roll it up. Then slide it off and keep it in a warm oven. Put more butter on the pan, pat yourself on the back, and start the next one. You rock! Now go casually drop your crepe-making skills into conversation and watch your dates pile up.
This week, these long dreamed of things appeared at market, and were bought by us:
So, the list of joy:
1 bunch of chives
2 bunches of green garlic
2 bunches of asparagus (on it’s way out)
2 bunches of parsley
1 bunch of kale
1/2 lb spinach
1 quart strawberries
a handful of tomatoes
15 portobello mushrooms
A farmer friend of ours from market suggested this recipe a few weeks ago and we’d been looking for a chance to try it out.
All you need is some sorrel, some asparagus, and some chives (as always this spring, chives feature in this meal). Sorrel, if you’re wondering like we were, is a common garden plant that also grows wild and is sometimes considered a weed. It is spinach like in texture and looks somewhat like spinach, but with longer lighter leaves. But it’s flavor is different. There’s a slight bitterness in the flavor and it’s very lemony.
So, wash and lightly dry the sorrel and chop it roughly just a few times.
Melt two tablespoons of butter in an oven-safe casserole pan and mix in some salt and pepper.
Stir the chopped sorrel into the butter until evenly coated.
Break the tough ends off of the asparagus and cut the stalks in half. Lay the cut asparagus on top of the sorrel and stir a little. Make sure the sorrel remains on the bottom. Sprinkle a little finely chopped chives.
Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper and add a little butter on top of the asparagus.
Bake the whole thing uncovered at 350 for 12-15 minutes.
We ate ours with homemade bruschetta which was lovely.