June 12, 2011
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:
- Parsley Garlic Noodles – this is more or less our favorite quick dinner. Or dinner at all.
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.
- Cilantro & Ramp Pesto
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.
- Kale & Pasta
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.
May 31, 2011
This lovely vinegar was suggested to us by the kind potted herb lady at the farmers’ market. It’s easy to make and it really adds something to your salads. And also, it looks wonderful.
So, all you need is:
A bottle of white wine vinegar, a mason jar with a well-sealing lid (not the old fashioned kind that latch, unless you’ve got the rubber gasket as well), and a handful of chives with flowers.
1. Wash the mason jar really really well in hot soapy water.
2. Put the clean mason jar into a pot of boiling water so that it is completely covered in water and boil for 5 minutes. Carfully use tongs to pull it out and set it to dry completely on a clean cloth. You want there to be no water on the inside because it can cloud the vinegar. But you also don’t want to dry it with a cloth because you could introduce bacteria.
3. When the jar is dry, cut off all of the chive flowers and snip up some of the stems and put them all in the jar.
Chive flowers in vinegar on the first day; the vinegar is a yellow/white color at first.
4. Pour white wine vinegar until the jar is full to about 2 cups worth. Cap it tightly and let it sit on your counter, or in a warm place, for 2 weeks.
Pink chive flower vinegar
May 28, 2011
While A was away on vacation, said vacationer’s girlfriend fixated on a very pretentious idea. She was sitting at her desk in the library, thinking of the 1940s Italian neo-realist film The Bicycle Thief and remembering the delicious-looking bowl of pasta served by the frugal yet culinarily skilled mom. This led to the (a) highly specious conclusion that the film characters were eating penne vodka, and (b) a wide-ranging search for the best penne vodka recipe ever. Vacationer’s girlfriend eventually settled on Smitten Kitchen’s adaptation of Rachel Ray’s embarrassingly named “You Won’t be Single For Long Vodka Cream Pasta.” After sending the closet-dweller the recipe & a short lecture on the cinematographic brilliance of TBT, girlfriend ventured out to acquire the needed libations.
The closet-dweller and vacationer’s girlfriend made many changes to the Smitten Kitchen & Rachel Ray recipes. Here’s the final version:
Penne Vodka (non-discriminatory re: relationship status)
A couple tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
About 5 stalks green garlic, minced
Good-sized handful of chives, snipped into the pan
1/2 cup vodka
1 cup veggie stock
1 can diced tomatoes (28 ounces)
Coarse salt and pepper
A little less than a pound of pasta, depending on the sauce:pasta ratio you prefer
1/2 cup heavy cream
A small handful fresh oregano, chopped up (or basil if you have it around)
Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, green garlic, and chives. Gently saute chives and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes. Add vodka to the pan. Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add veggie stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for at least 10 minutes until the tomatoes taste done (if you’ve cooked with diced tomatoes before, you probably know what I mean). Season with salt and pepper.
While sauce simmers, cook pasta. Stir cream and fresh herbs (oregano or basil) into the sauce and simmer a bit more. Season more as needed. Stir together with pasta and top with cheese if you so desire.
Evening entertainment option 1: Go classy, eat penne vodka and drink wine while watching an amazing Italian neo-realist film.
Evening entertainment option 2: Go post-college, eat penne vodka and drink Yuengling while watching Community for hours on end.
May 11, 2011
This recipe is roughly based off of a Turkish spinach roll recipe a friend taught me years ago. Since she made me memorize the recipe, and since it’s been six years, I had to somewhat reconstruct it. But it came out wonderfully. Instead of making individual rolls we made one big loaf.
I should also say that this is tagged under “fast and easy;” it really is. From getting started to getting this thing in the oven was under half an hour. It does bake for a while though.
The dough, smooth and ready to roll.
Spinach and asparagus filling spread out over the dough.
Finally, the loaf, sliced at a slight angle into spiraled rounds.
3 ¼ cups flour (I did 2 white and 1 ¼ wheat)
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk, at room temperature
½ cup oil, neutral or olive
Lightly beaten egg yolk for glazing (optional)
- Combine all the dry ingredients and use a whisk to mix evenly
- Add the oil, stir a bit.
- Add the milk and mix with a spoon until it is too solid for the spoon, then use your hands.
- Knead the dough just a little until it is smooth and pliable.
- At this point make the filling. Do everything on the filling list now.
- Roll it out until it’s a bit more than a ¼ inch think then spread the filling over most of the dough and roll it from one end towards the other.
- Use your fingers to press it shut at the ends and bush it with a lightly beaten egg yolk. Last sprinkle coarse salt and ground pepper on top.
- Bake on a lightly oiled and very lightly floured sheet at 350 for 35-40 minutes
½ lb spinach
A handful of chives
Green garlic, 1-3 stalks
¼ – ½ teaspoon each oregano & basil
- Chop the asparagus into 1 inch pieces
- Finely chop the chives and green garlic.
- Put the asparagus, chives, and green garlic in a sizeable saucepan with the olive oil and cook on medium low heat for about five minutes. Add some salt, pepper, oregano, and basil.
- Meanwhile, wash and roughly chop about of spinach.
- Turn off the heat, mix the spinach in the saucepan and cover, with heat turned off.
- Add to the dough as explained above.
May 10, 2011
Starting at the bottom left:
- Cook 1 cup dried rice in neutral or olive oil until the rice grains start to turn translucent.
- Add water and cook rice as you usually would.
- When the rice is done, let it sit covered for 20 minutes to steam the rice.
- Stir in some salt, the juice of 1 lime, and 1/2 cup well chopped fresh cilantro
Re-fried beans with corn, peppers, & chives
- Put about 3/4 cup chopped red and yellow peppers to a frying pan with about 3/4 cup sweet corn. Since ours is from our frozen veggie stock we cooked these lightly until fully defrosted, then poured the excess liquid off for our homemade veggie stock.
- Cook the peppers and corn for about five minutes, than add about 1/2 cup of roughly chopped chives
- Turn the heat very low, add the re-fried beans and cook, stirring constantly, until evenly warmed.
Sliced avocado (since we could never have got this kind of thing locally, we’ve made some exceptions)
Flour tortillas which we did not make ourselves
May 7, 2011
This awesome pizza was very easy to make (assuming you don’t mind making pizza dough) and was a perfect way to enjoy some of our new fresh herbs. Here’s the recipe:
Chives, fresh garlic, garlic clove, spinach, portobello mushrooms, olive oil, parmesan, and mozzarella
- Cut a small handful of chives into 1/4 inch pieces (a pair of scissors works well for this) and place into a small saucepan with a little less than 1/4 cup of olive oil. You should have about 1/3 cup of chives. Then add 1 head of finely chopped cured garlic and cook on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring almost constantly to prevent burning.
- Roll out the pizza dough and spread the garlic-chive oil over the dough evenly.
- Spread a layer of fresh spinach, 1 finely sliced stalk of green garlic, and 4 portobello mushrooms, cut into 1 inch pieces.
- Top with mozzarella and grated parmesan.
- Cook at 425 for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat tomato sauce in the same pan the garlic chive oil was in to flavor it.
- Serve the pizza with tomato dipping sauce on the side.