Showing posts with label CSA creations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CSA creations. Show all posts

Thursday, November 7, 2013

every last bite

As much as I love comforting fall foods, I have to admit I miss the fresh produce summer provides - especially tomatoes. Unfortunately, once the temperatures start to dip I want a salad less frequently. But as the final bits of this years' harvest make it in my CSA bag, I am determined to find a way to use and savor every last bite. This recipe for roasted roma tomatoes in fresh herbs does just that.

You will need:
1 quart of roma tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
fresh herbs, such as basil and oregano

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Quarter the roma tomatoes. Remove seeds by sliding your fingers down the sides. Place on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Top with freshly ground pepper. Lightly chop fresh herbs and scatter over tomatoes. Place in oven for two hours. Remove and let cool. Store in air tight container like jar or freezer bag. Place in freezer for up to six months.

These chewy flavor packed tomatoes can be used to top a pizza, tossed in with your favorite pasta, or blended into you favorite sauce with the help of a food processor. The would be great chopped into an omelet or quiche. Along with come wilted spinach they would be wonderful on top of a grilled portabella. You can even make a fantastic pesto spread with them. The possibilities are endless. And I am going to enjoy every last one.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

sippy cups

My children seem to reach new milestones everyday. It happens faster with the second than the first child. Before you know it they are sleeping through the night (and waking at six in the morning), walking (and falling...lots), and talking (and repeating things you wish you hadn't said in front of them). Right now we are potty training my second child. And true to form, she is mastering this skill in no time. But when it comes to somethings we seem to be stuck. Sure we have moved out of bibs (and invested in more stain removal spray), but we still use sippy cups. Not that they can't drink from a real glass, but I clean up enough messes. (Did I mention we are potty training?) And, I don't need anyone - including me - crying over spilled milk, or juice, or whatever. So we use sippy cups. And after a day of new milestones, and a few setbacks, I like to have my own sweet drink to sip - like this refreshing watermelon cooler.

To make your own you will need:
Several slices of watermelon
4 strawberries, hulled
A few fresh sprigs of mint
Juice from 1/2 a lime, more for garnish

Place the lime juice in the collection container of a juicer. Add in the mint, berries, and melon to the juicer. Be sure to remove any rinds and seeds from the watermelon first. Juice ingredients completely. Stir and pour over ice. Garnish with more mint and lime. Serve immediately.

This is great (baby) poolside or even in the middle of a hectic day indoors. My kids even like it. Of course, I serve theirs in a sippy cup.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

csa on a stick

When my CSA comes each week its like a little celebration. It reminds me of when I was little and I got to go to the fair. Rides, funnel cakes, carnival games - it was fun at every turn. And all the food on a stick. Candied apples, foot long corn dogs - you name it the food was fun too. So when my CSA came this past week, I decided to recreate the feeling in a way...a fresher and more healthy way...but still on a stick!

You need the following:
1-2 spring onions
2-3 summer squash
several cherry tomatoes
2 tblsp of olive oil
fresh herbs like basil and oregano
salt and pepper, to taste

Soak your kabob sticks in water for at least twenty minutes. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Slice the onions and squash. Place in a large ziplock bag with the tomatoes. Chop the fresh herbs and add them in. Finally pour in the oil. Seal the bag and toss til well coated. Add in salt and pepper and toss again. Let marinate at least an hour. Skewer veggies and place on grill. Cook for about eight minutes, turning every 2-3 minutes.

menu ideas:
I had these grilled veggies along with brown rice and green beans. The hubs grilled his own shrimp kabobs at the same time.

Monday, September 2, 2013

true colors

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the farmers' markets. I love all the vibrant colors - bright red strawberries, yellow heirloom tomatoes, deep green zucchini, dusty blueberries. It is a treat to the senses to just walk around and look at everything, even if you don't buy something - not that that ever happens for me. I always find a some colorful beauty that needs to come home with me.

When I picked up my CSA the other day, I was so excited to see not one, but two colors of cabbage. (It has been pretty heavy on the greens thus far this year and it was great to get a bit of variety.) I knew immediately I could make a beautiful slaw that might even entice the kids to take a bite. I mean what's more fun than eating something purple?

The following recipe is adapted from Grow Cook Eat

What you need:
juice from one lime
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tblsp of sugar
kosher salt, to taste
1/3 cup of sesame oil
1 large garlic clove
1/2 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
1 small purple cabbage
1 small green cabbage
2-3 carrots, shredded
1/2 small red onion
freshly ground pepper

In a food processor, blend the lime juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, oil, garlic, and cilantro until well combined. Chop the cabbages and onion. Combine with the shredded carrots in a large bowl. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss. Top with pepper and toss again. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. Serve cold.

The colorful cabbage got better every day it was in my fridge. The slaw was spicy and sweet. Treat your senses to this dish soon!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

peak of perfection

I love summer foods. Sweet corn, fresh okra, and juicy blackberries. In my opinion food doesn't get better than this. But above all things, when tomatoes hit their peak, it is my favorite time of year. I toss them in salads. I put them on sandwiches. I ate them straight with a bit of salt. I simply love a perfectly ripe local tomato. And this equally simple tart is a wonderful way to enjoy them.

You will need these ingredients:
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
1/2 a large tomato, sliced
a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small head of green cauliflower
1/3 cup of crumbled goat cheese
several sprigs of fresh thyme

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prep a large baking sheet with non-stick spray. Roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Use flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to working surface and rolling pin. Top pastry with tomatoes, cauliflower, and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until crust is golden. Top with fresh thyme and serve while warm.

It is like the peak of summer served on a sheet of flaky dough. You can't beat that. Perfection!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

morning inspiration

Many years ago when I became a vegetarian I had a hard time re-learning how to eat. There weren't many cookbooks out there that laid out meal plans or even uncomplicated dishes. I seriously spent a whole summer eating side dishes once. But as time passed I learned how to make my meals more balanced. And the food world evolved too. Before I knew it my little grocery store have everything from fake chicken nuggets to corn dogs.

I am now at a similar crossroads. After years of consuming more than my fair share of fake bacon (affectionately known as facon in my family), I am trying to wean myself off the more processed soy products that I have relied on in the past. This is especially true at breakfast. So more oatmeal with blueberries, more scrambled eggs with cheese on english muffins, etc. This has taken some planning on my part, because I am not a morning person. It is much easier to zap a few slices of facon than to prepare a real meal, especially with two toddlers at my toes demanding that I breakout the playdough before I have my coffee. But, I know that eating fresh food is better for me, and my famliy. So I have been scouring my cookbooks and pinterest boards for new ideas. This simple one, however, came from my CSA bag. And I thought I'd share it with you, because you too may be in need of a little morning inspiration.

What you need:
your favorite savory bagel
    (go to a local store and get them fresh if you can)
whipped cream cheese
thick slices of fresh tomato
several fresh basil leaves

I simply toasted my everything bagel, topped it with cream cheese (on both sides because I am a glutton), and stuck the tomato and basil in between to make a simple savory breakfast sandwich. It was so lovely to taste the fresh garden goodies first thing in the morning. And the carby bagel and protein packed cream cheese gave me enough energy to get in a five mile run that morning. I can't think of a better way to start that day.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

these are a few of my favorite things

My dear carnivore has recently learned he has an aversion to on of his favorite things - garlic. Can you imagine? I mean it is a real tragedy. It's like if I found out I was allergic to cheese. But, just like he doesn't give up meat for me, I haven't kicked the garlic habit for him. I just partake in that fragrant clove when he isn't around. After all it is one of my favorite things too. I recently made this dish of garlicky bok choy for lunch.

To make your own you need the following:

1/2 of a very large head of bok choy
2 tblsp of stir fry oil
2 cloves of galic
1/2 cup of chick peas
salt and pepper, to taste

Place the oil in a large skillet. I used a safflower oil that was infused with garlic and ginger, but a plain sesame oil would be fine as well. Peel and chop the garlic. Toss in the oil and heat on medium flame until fragrant. Mean while, clean and chop the bok choy. I like a few stems in mine, but you can remove those if you wish. Add the greens to the pan and wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Toss in the chick peas and stir until warmed. Serve immediately.

Simple and delicious. The greens are infused with the aromatic garlic and the chick peas give the dish some heft. It was one of my favorite lunches. Maybe it will be yours too.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

purple majesty

With two toddlers in the house there is lots of talk about colors. What color is that leaf you found? What color shirt do you want to wear today? What color are your eyes? And so on...My son is went through a stage where he wanted everything pink. I am certain this is because when baby sister came along there was a sudden influx of pink things - and attention on her. But, now he was decided his favorite colors are dark blue, silver, and manatee. Don't ask, I'm not sure what that last one is either.

And since colors are such a big topic of conversation, I try to make our meals as colorful as possible too. Imagine my excitement when these purple potatoes showed up in my CSA bag. I couldn't wait to cook them for the kids.

To make your own you will need the following:
8-10 purple potatoes
1/2 stick of organic unsalted butter
kosher salt, to taste

Rinse potatoes in cold water and brush away an excess dirt. Slice into 1/4 inch rounds. Place in medium pan and boil until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to pan. Toss with butter and salt until well coated.

I mean who wouldn't be at least a little interested in taking a bit of the pretty purple potatoes? And it turns out they taste just like any other new potato, so the whole family ate them up - because everyone likes potatoes.

menu ideas:
We had these majestic potatoes with sauteed green beans and breaded chicken (well, I have a meat-free version of chicken and the family had the real deal - but you get the idea).

Saturday, July 6, 2013

cooling off

 It is that time of year again. The days are getting longer. The air is getting thicker. And there aren't enough ways out there to keep me and the kids cool. The muggy Memphis summer is setting in. And in my house, that means it is popsicle season. While I have been known to by the pre-made pops, my son always asks for my homemade ones. This, of course, makes my foodie mom heart smile. But really it is a great way to get more fruit (and sometimes veggies) into their diet while rehydrating them all at the same time.

To make four refreshing pops you will need these ingredients -

3-4 medium slices of watermelon, seeds and rinds removed
5-6 large strawberries, hulled
2 sprigs of fresh mint
juice from half of a lime

Grab your juicer. Place the lime juice directly in the collecting container. Add the mint in the juicer first, followed by the strawberries and then the melon. Juice the items completely. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze for at least two hours. (If you have left over juice just offer that to the kids too.)

Because the fruit is so fresh and sweet this time of year there is no need to add any extra sugar. We used strawberries that we picked ourselves and mint from our CSA (but we always have that growing out back in the summer too). The kids just love them. Personally, I think a grown-up version spiked with a bit of rum might be fantastic too...but maybe the heat has just gone to my head.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

baby fever

Ladies of a certain age are known to come down with a condition known as baby fever. I'm not sure when it really starts or ends, but I can tell you, despite having two toddlers I am not immune. One whiff of a newborn's head and I am looking at my husband with pleading eyes. And without so much as a word escaping my lips, he barks "No!" We can't help it. Babies are just irresistible.

In the food word, baby veggies can be quite alluring too. When some tiny squash and zucchini showed up in my CSA recently, I made this adorable little raw salad.

You will need:
2 cups of mini squash and zucchini
1-2 spring onions
1 small tomato
2 tbslp of olive oil
1 tsp of lime juice
1 tsp of lemon juice
1 sprig of fresh mint
salt and pepper to taste

Chop the baby squash and zucchini and place in a mixing bowl. Dice the onions and tomato, and add it to the bowl. Add the oil and juices. Toss the mixture. Chop the mint finely and add to the bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

It was so good even my baby couldn't keep her hands out of it. Isn't that adorable? I could just eat them both up!

Monday, June 24, 2013

mint green

I am not a trendy person. I am usually (at least) two steps behind on fashion trends or diet fads. I stick to the basics and figure what's out now will eventually come back around. Like I just saw jean jackets are back! I still have mine deep in a closet somewhere...But according to pinterest mint green is big right now. Blouses, butter dishes, you name it - that color is everywhere. I'm not sure I can pull off mint green skinny jeans, but I do have a current love affair with this mint green tea. Does that count?

To make your own gather the following:
1 large package of green tea for iced brewing (I used Tazo, but there are others out there.)
Several sprigs of fresh mint
1 lime (and orange would also nice)

Boil the tea in water according to directions. Let steep with some mint in pot. Remove mint. Pour tea into a pitcher. If you want it a bit sweet add in 1/4 cup of honey now. Squeeze in juice from half of the lime. Add more water and fresh ice cubes. Slice the remaining lime and add to pitcher. Stir and place in refrigerator for at least an hour. Serve cold.

This drink is great on a hot day - and they are all hot this time of year. I used mint from my CSA, but you can also grow your own very easily. IT is really trendy to grow your own - didn't you know?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

real breakfast

We eat real breakfast in my house. My kids are not satisfied with a fruit bar or a bowl of instant oatmeal. No, we have to have a substantial meal. Whether it is a croissant smeared with homemade apple butter or a piece of rye bread topped with strawberry honey jam from the berries we pick ourselves, I had better be prepared to also whip up some scrambled eggs or bacon too. And do forget some fresh fruit on the side. No wonder I stay so exhausted. The good news is once they have settled into their grub I am free to make my own fancy grown up breakfast. And you know what, I want something substantial too. Like this egg sammie which incorporated many treasures from my latest CSA.

You will need:
1 English muffin, toasted
1 organic egg, fried
micro greens, like mesclun
a thick slice of fresh tomato
1/2 red spring onion, sliced thinly
smoked gruyere cheese, shredded

Toast your English muffin. Fry your egg. I like mine over easy, but you can change that as you like. Layer de-stemmed micro greens on half of bottom of muffin. Top with ripe tomato and slivers of onion. Add egg, then smother with finely shredded smokey cheese.

This sandwich is so substantial it could easily be lunch. You are definitely gonna need a fork to finish it. But you know what they say...breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So, eat a real one.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

southern soup

The South has a very distinct palate. We like simple things - like hot corn bread smeared with real butter or a homemade biscuit slathered in a berry jam that was "put up" by someone's grandmother. From cobbler to fried fish, the food may not be fancy, but is flavorful.

There are a few southern classics I have generally steered clear of. Even when I ate meat (decades ago) I never like meat with skins or bones. As such, fried chicken wasn't my thing. And, for some reason collard greens. I can't really tell you why, but they were just never something I liked growing up. That has all changed. Thanks to my CSA I am constantly challenged to find new ways to cook interesting things. And when a bunch of collards showed up in a recent bag, I decided to make this southern soup.

Adapted from The Southern Foodie: 100 Places to Eat in the South Before You Die

You will need:
1 tblsp of olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 spring onions, diced
3 cups of collard greens, stems removed
1 can of diced tomato
1 can of purple hull peas
2 can fulls of water
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add in the garlic and onions. Saute until onions are soft. Add in the greens. Tear them into bite sized pieces as you place them in the pot. Wilt them and then add in the tomatoes, peas, and water. Stir and add in salt and pepper. Simmer for at least thirty minutes. Serve warm.

I slurped up every bit of this soup. It is tilt the bowl up and drink the last drop good. It has what every good southern dish has - whether it was my great grandmother's creamed corn or my great aunt's pecan pie - fresh ingredients, served simply. I know it is hot out there, but you have to turn down your A/C and give it a try.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

pizza party

I am probably the most adven-turous eater in my family. That means a couple of things -1) when I see a new recipe for a swiss chard gratin and get excited, I'm probably going to be on my own, 2) when I try to convince my family that grilled brussel sprouts are amazing, I'm gonna get silent stares, and 3) occasionally, I have to cave and give them pizza.

That doesn't mean, however, I have to eat fattening fast food pizza or order a cookie cutter "veggie lover" pie. I can give my carnivore his pepperoni pizza, make the kids one covered in multicolored olives (their favorite), and still give myself a special treat. Take this pizza, for example. It has whole wheat dough, a pesto base, and is topped with artichokes, sundried tomatoes, and fresh arugula from my me at least.

You will need:
1 ball of whole wheat pizza dough
1/2 cup of pesto
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of marinated artichoke hearts
1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes in oil
1 cup of fresh arugula

Roll out the pizza dough and place on a stone. Smear pesto all over. I used my collard green pesto, but a regular basil one will do. Cover the pie in cheese. Top with artichokes and tomatoes. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from oven and scatter arugula on top. Slice and serve with fresh parmesan if desired.

It was like a little pizza party in my belly! And the carnivore and kiddos were equally excited with their pies. Happy foodie, happy family!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

grill master

My husband has no manfort or man cave to speak of. He has no real place to escape the chaos that the kids and I create. Unless you count the garage. But despite my son's insistence that he lives out there, dirty floors, rusty tools, and discarded furniture are no haven from my hellions. His one place of peace may be his grill. He can survey the yard (which he has made many improvements to) from his deck (which he stained and fixed up himself) and cook his favorite food (meat).

But, I have to sheepishly admit that I am making inroads into this sacred spot too. Generally I stick to the kitchen when I cook, but I have actually ventured outdoors a few times lately to make a meal. I had to. I mean what would a carnivore like my husband do if I asked him to grill brussel sprouts and radicchio...other than ask what that last word was? I am no grill master yet, but this dish was delicious.

Before you head to the grill you will need these ingredients on hand:
2-4 cups of baby brussel spouts
1 head of radicchio
2 tblsps of olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 a large red onion
1/4 cup of crumbled cheese, I used goat but feta or blue would also be nice

Clean and halve the sprouts. Place in a large bowl and toss with 1 tblsp of oil, salt and pepper. Place on grill safe veggie plate (see picture). Cut radicchio in half and brush with oil. Place down on same veggie plate. Grill on medium direct heat for about four minutes. Toss sprouts. Grill for three more minutes, just until char marks show. Return sprouts to mixing bowl. Chop radicchio and add to bowl along with remaining ingredients. Toss and serve warm.

menu ideas:
As you can see the night I made this, I also grilled chicken legs for the meat eaters in the family. I served them along side whipped potatoes and sauteed green beans.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

summer club

Summer is by far my favorite time of the year. It has everything. From gazing at giant blue hydrangeas to jumping into pristine pools, every second is seductive to the senses. And the food is no exception. Succulent strawberries, sweet corn, you name it, it is just better in the summer. This sandwich contains several of my summer favorites.

To make your own you will need the following:
crusty french bread
fresh basil
fresh mozzarella
homemade pesto
salt and pepper

Cut the bread into long sections and halve it. Smear with pesto. You can try my traditional basil recipe or my spicy collard green version. Slice the tomato and sink into the pesto. Top with fresh mozzarella. Salt and pepper to taste. Add fresh basil leaves on top. I get mine straight out of my garden.

This caprese club is cool on a hot day and the bold flavors will leave you satisfied but not stuffed. Served with a slice of watermelon and a tall glass of sweet tea, you will be able to taste the season.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

pretty as a picture

You ever make a dish and it is almost too pretty to eat? You just want to admire your work before you take a bite? Whether it is the birthday cake you just frosted for your kid or the tenderloin you made for the potluck, sometimes you take the first bite with your eyes because it looks so good you can almost taste it.

Well, I had just that experience the other day when I made this turnip and potato galette.  And you know how I know it looked good? My carnivore served himself a heaping portion...and ate several bites, before I mistakenly mentioned that it had turnips in it. But no matter, it was so buttery beautiful that even he couldn't resist.

(Adapted from The New Southern Garden Cookbook)

What you need to create your own masterpiece:
6 tblsp of melted butter
5-6 small to medium yellow potatoes
1large turnip
1 cup of vegetable broth
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pour 1 tblsp of the butter into the bottom of a cast iron skillet and brush the bottom thoroughly. Slice the potatoes and turnips thinly. Start with a layer of potato slice in the skillet. Then add two more tablespoons of melts butter and some salt and pepper. Add in the turnips and then more potatoes. Pour the broth over the whole pan. Follow with the remaining butter. Then add more salt and pepper. Cover the skillet tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes or until the edges of the potatoes on the top layer get golden brown. Run a knife around the edge and let set for five minutes before serving warm. Top with fresh chopped parsley.

This dish takes a while to bake, but it is well worth it. Carby and rich it is super satisfying. And hey, Michelangelo didn't paint the Sistine Chapel in a day, right?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

root of the matter

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters. There are no shortage of parenting blogs and cookbooks that claim to have the solution to how to get your kid to expand their palate beyond mac and cheese. Fill up muffin tins with a rainbow of healthy snacks! Smother your broccoli in alfredo sauce and hide it among fun shaped pasta! And so on. Don't get me wrong, I have pinned my fair share of these tips.

And while I don't pretend to be any guru in this area, I did have one advantage on many first time parents - my carnivore. He is the pickiest eater. I mean really, who eats ketchup and red sauce, but not salsa? Or cheese, but only if it is melted? Sound like your three year old; well it's my husband. I learned after many trials and errors in the kitchen, that when I got to the root of his palate problem it wasn't so much the flavor of the foods, but the texture. I have also learned over time that if I am going to introduce a new vegetable to his plate I had better (1) hide it completely or (2) make it in a form that he generally can resist - i.e. fried.

I decided to apply the second technique when introducing my children to some of our latest CSA root veggies. While they are much more adventurous eaters than their father, it never hurts to give them a good impression of a radish before I toss it raw into a salad. So while they created rainbows with playdough I made some rainbow root chips for them to snack on.

To make your own you will need just a few things:
You choice of root veggies - we used easter egg radishes in three colors and turnips, but you can also use beets and sweet potatoes
vegetable oil
kosher salt

Slice your root veggies thinly. Place them on paper towels and top with more. Press out any extra moisture. Let sit for ten minutes and press again. Meanwhile, find a deep sided nonstick pan. Fill with a quarter of an inch of vegetable oil. Heat on medium. Once warm, make small batches of chips by placing slices in a single layer in the pan and flipping frequently. Do not crowd the pan. Remove and drain on more paper towels as they begin to brown - about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove excess oil and salt to taste. Let dry and cool completely before serving.

We gobbled them up quickly, and didn't even have any leftover for daddy to try...much to his delight I'm sure. But, I think he would have been pleasantly surprised at how much he liked these root chips. Salty, crispy, is hard for even a picky carnivore (or toddler) to turn their nose up at that.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

sage advice

I have been the recipient of some good advice in my life. My father in particular has told me a few truism that stick with me to this day. While he made his oyster cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving he would remind me that he had been making this same recipe for years, and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." While he stood watch over ribs doused in his homemade bbq sauce at the Fourth of July, he would pontificate that "father time takes care of just about anything." And while cleaning coolers of freshly caught fish that he would later fry in yellow cornmeal, he would tell me that "a meal didn't have to be fancy to be special." And while he passed down his rustic cooking style and his taste for food grown in the yard, he also has left me with a guidebook for my life.

I hope to do the same for my kids. They are always underfoot while I am whipping up my latest creation in the kitchen. We taste the goodies from the CSA and peruse the cookbook library for ideas. And we talk about life (as much as you can with toddlers). Just the other day my son grabbed a long red spring onion from our CSA bag and took several big bites - to my surprise. And we talked about how important it was to try new things. Then we made this purple sage and spring onion tart together.

To make your own gather these ingredients:
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
1 small hot house tomato
several spring onions, red and white
1/2 cup of fresh herbed goat cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh purple sage

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pastry and place on greased cookie sheet. Slice tomatoes thinly. Slice onions and leave in small rings. Put vegetables in tart. Sprinkle generously with goat cheese. Add salt and pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes until edges are golden. Coarsely chop sage and smother tart with it. Serve warm.

And just a little it with your loved ones, because it is important to sit down to meals together.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

refill please

Every year for Christmas my closest friends and family are the (lucky?) recipients of some creations from my kitchen. Everything from cinnamon fig preserves to rosemary garlic butter, I make little jars of love throughout the year, store them away, and then ship them off. Those who live close often get extras as batches are made. My mother and my best friend, however, are a bit more forward with their requests. A jar that once was full with apple butter will be returned empty and cleaned...with the implication that is needs to be refilled.

Recently, my bff showed up with a small jar that once held basil pesto made from herbs grown in my own yard. It was pristine and had a small note attached that read, "for pesto." This wasn't a reminder of what I had put in there in the past, so much as an order for what needed to go back in. As it would have it I just made a batch of spicy collard green pesto with some goodies from my CSA. So I reached into my fridge and simply exchanged jars.

To make your own, or some for your friends and family, gather these ingredients:
4 cups of collards greens, destemmed
water for boiling
3 large garlic cloves
1 cup of oil
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of walnuts or pecans
1/2 teaspoon of red chili pepper flakes
kosher salt and grated pepper to taste

Chop greens coarsely. Blanch them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Remove to colander and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Place greens in food processor with remaining ingredients. Blend thoroughly.

I ate my portion of the batch on small toast bites, almost like a dip. But this spicy and strong spread would be great on a pizza too. I'm sure my best friend will find her own way to use up this twist on pesto...and then I will get another empty jar.
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