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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Grilled New Potatoes

I must admit, I've never been a huge potato fan.  I like them, but could do without them for the most part.  However, fresh new potatoes, like we get from Blooming Glen Farm, are a whole different story.  They're tender and creamy and so flavorful. 

Here's a recipe that I made last week at my farm demo.  The aioli is light and fresh tasting and makes a great accompaniment to the potatoes--as well as a spread for a sandwich or dipping veggies or...all sort of stuff.

Serves 8

3 lb new potatoes, small
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • Put potatoes in Dutch oven or large pot and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, season with salt and cook until almost tender, about 15 min.  Drain and, when cool enough, cut in half.
  • Preheat grill to medium.
  • Combine mayo, garlic, lemon juice and zest in a blender and blend until smooth.  (You can do this in a bowl with an immersion blender if you wish.)  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.
  • Brush potatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill, cut side down, until golden brown and just cooked through.  Remove to a platter.  Drizzle with aioli and sprinkle with parsley.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Can't Beet 'Em

Beets.  Most people either love them or hate them.  But they are becoming more and more popular as people try them in new ways and as their great nutritional value becomes more well known.  (You can read a previous post for a little more info.)

For me, the only way I remember eating beets as a kid was pickled.  And I love them like that (the Dutchie coming out in me). 

I do believe, though, that roasting them best brings out the great flavor and sweetness that beets are known for.  Roast them, skin them, chop them up and serve them with some good extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper--and you've got yourself a tasty side dish.

Citrus pairs really well with beets, and the recipe below--another one that I made at Blooming Glen Farm last week--is a great summer side dish.  You may even convert some beet-haters with this one!

ROASTED BEET SALAD WITH BLOOD ORANGES AND ALMONDS (from America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
Serves 4

At the farm, I used regular navel oranges (since blood oranges aren't in season) and instead of arugula (again, out of season), I used red leaf lettuce and dandelion greens.  To prepare the oranges, cut the top and bottom off of the orange.  Using a sharp knife, slice away the peel to reveal the pulp.  Cut into quarters and then slice each quarter into 1/2" pieces.  For best flavor, follow the recipe and toss the warm beets in the dressing.  But you can roast the beets ahead of time and it will still be tasty.

2 lb beets, greens removed
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 tsp sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 oz arugula (about 2 cups)
1 cup feta cheese
2 Tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
2 blood oranges (see above)
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 400 degrees.  Wrap beets in foil individually and place on a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast until a skewer or paring knife meets little resistance, 45-60 minutes.
  • Remove beets from oven and open foil.  When cool enough to handle, rub off skins using a paper towel.  Slice into 1/2" thick wedges and, if large, cut in half.
  • Meanwhile, whisk oil, vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a large bowl.  Add sliced beets, toss to coat, let cool to room temp, about 20 min.
  • Add arugula to beets and toss.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with cheese and almonds.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Great E"scape"

One of the items that Blooming Glen Farm (and many other CSAs) offer during the early summer are garlic scapes.  These alien-looking things are the stalks of the garlic plants that are cut off so the energy of the plant can go toward the bulb instead of the stalk.  But you don't want to let them go to waste.

Problem is, many people don't quite know what to do with these garlicky tasting things. 

They're great chopped up and simply sautéed in some olive oil with salt and pepper--either alone or as an addition to other veggies.  I've also tossed them in oil, salt and pepper and thrown them on the grill until they're tender.  A good accompaniment to some grilled meat or fish.

Probably the most popular way to use them is in a pesto.  If you like garlic, this is a quick and versatile way to use scapes.  Use it tossed with pasta (like I did at the farm this week along with some fresh green beans).  It's also really tasty as a condiment for grilled fish or meat or even on some grilled bread brushed with olive oil.  Yum! 

Like other pestos, freeze your extra in ice cube trays.  When they're frozen solid, remove them to a zipper freezer bag and then you have ready-made pesto whenever you need it. 

This makes a good amount of pesto.  If you want less, or have less scapes to use, just adjust the ingredients accordingly.

1 lb garlic scapes, chopped in 3" pieces
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2-1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Put garlic scapes in food processor and puree until evenly chopped.
  • Add Parmesan and pine nuts and process until smooth.
  • With processor running, slowly add oil until emulsified and to your desired consistency.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Squash Pickles

Yesterday, I was fortunate to once again cook at my CSA, Blooming Glen Farm.  I've done this for a number of years--making some tasty recipes from the great produce that the folks are picking up.  It's always fun to talk food with people who really appreciate it!

I'll be there again on August 8.  Looking forward to it!

I promised that I'd post the recipes that I made, so that's what I'm doing.  Here's the first. 

These tangy pickles--slightly sweet and spicy--are a great addition to any picnic!

4 cups zucchini and/or yellow squash, cut in 1/8" slices
1 cup sweet onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp mustard seed
3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Combine squash, onion and garlic in a large bowl or in jars.
  • Combine rest of ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour hot liquid over veggies, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.  It's that simple!