Wednesday, July 29, 2009

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I will "tweet" about recipes I find. The "tweets" will appear in a section on the right hand side of the blog. I'll "tweet" when I have no time to post a real blog entry. Don't forget to follow me!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Today's Distribution

Today I went down to Green Meadow's Farm with two friends, so the experience was a little different than usual. My friend Emma has a routine when it comes to the farm. First, she feeds the pigs and then visits quickly with the turkeys and ducks on the way to the PYO fields. Today was only PYO herbs, which Emma was kind of disappointed with. She requested some string beans even though they were not on the list. Her mom picked a handful, and Emma started snacking as we walked into the farmstand to pick up our distribution.
  • Tomatoes
  • Parsley
  • Tatsoi
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Lettuce
  • Shallots
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Kohlrabi
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Broccoli
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
After putting the veggies in the car, we grabbed more food scrap to bring out to the "lonely pigs". These pigs were a bit sad because some of the close friends had recently been processed. On the way out to their sty, we encountered another harsh reality of farm life. One of the barn cats was toying with something that appeared to be a mouse. But as we got closer, and the "mouse" uncurled itself and tried to slither away, we realized the cat had been toying with a snake; a snake that had a few puncture wounds on its body. And probably wouldn't make it much further.

The pigs were asleep in the mud and did not come out for the food scraps. That could have ended the day on a lackluster note. But instead of heading back to the car, Emma wanted to see the new chicks. I didn't know that I was visiting the farm with a VIP, and the farm stand staff gave us special access in the new "chick shed." One even flew out to greet us.

This is neither the chick or cat described to today's blog post.

Monday, July 27, 2009

What I am about...

I love simple food, really. I like dishes that start with just a few ingredients and maybe use one pan, dish, or pot. In the winter, I cook at look of stews and casseroles; one pot dishes that are very hearty and require minimal clean up. I found this recipe for cabbage and cooked it up. I thought it was delicious. It might not be for everybody. But if you like bacon and cheese as much as I do, it is a perfect way to use up some cabbage.

Cabbage with Pancetta and Cheddar Cheese

1/2 head of cabbage
1/4 lb of sliced and pancetta
couple handfuls of shredded cheddar cheese

Heat up you chef's pan and cook the pancetta. If you're unfamiliar with pancetta, it is very similar to bacon, slightly less fatty, and way more salty. I see no need to layer any extra salt in this dish. When the pancetta is crispy take it out and toss in your roughly chopped cabbage. When the cabbage is cooked, put the pancetta back into the pan, cover in cheddar cheese, and put a lid on the pan for a few minutes. The residual heat should melt the cheese. I don't know if this is a side dish, entree or what...but I ate the whole thing for dinner after yoga.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A good way to use up squash!

Squash Latkes

2-3 cups of shredded squash
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup of bread crumbs

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl while you're heating up some oil in a big pan. Make nice little patties and put them in the oil when it was hot enough. Allow to brown on one side before flipping. They'll stay together this way.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I am afraid my work-life balance has been off a little lately. Too much life; not enough work; and too many vegetables. The most recent share gave me more radishes then I could ever eat, and they are looking for a good home. In addition to radishes, here is the detailed breakdown of what we got.
  • summer squash
  • radishes
  • kohlrabi
  • kale
  • tatsoi
  • swiss chard
  • radicchio
  • beets
  • lettuce
  • garlic scapes
  • tomatoes
  • Thyme
  • Orgeano
Rather than provide recipes for everything I cooked this week, maybe I can offer ideas for those of you struggling to find ideas for what to cook.

Lasagna - with kale, summer squash, thyme, oregano, garlic scapes, and tomatoes from your share
Beet Salad - with tatsoi (or spinach) and beets (don't forget a great goat cheese)
Pasta Salad - with tatsoi, thyme, tomatoes, and garlic scapes

I did move outside of my comfort zone last week and made a Hungarian Kohlrabi side dish. Here is the recipe.

Browned Kohlrabi
(From the Paprikas Wiess Hungarian Cookbook by Edward Weiss 1979.)

2-3 kohlrabi, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth

1. Peel and dice kohlrabi.
2. Melt the butter in saucepan; add kohlrabi, salt, sugar, and parsley; stir to combine the ingredients.
3. Cover the saucepan and cook over very low heat for 25 minutes; take great care not to let it burn.
4. Sprinkle flour into pan and stir until lightly browned; stir in chicken broth to form a sauce; simmer for 5 minutes.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Not all local, but hey, it tastes good

I've got some Italian-American heritage, so I naturally have a repertoire of great sauces. M puttanesca is Elizabeth's favorite. I wanted an authentic recipe, so I set up an advanced google search looking for websites in Italy, in Italian, for the recipe. Once I found it, I translated the recipe into english. It is really really good. SERIOUSLY. I made it tonight substituting garlic scapes for garlic and it worked out just fine. I also omit anchovie paste. Add it if you like it.

Spaghetti alla puttanesca

3 tbs Olive Oil
Garlic (1-3 cloves smashed and chopped)
Handful of chopped parsley
Red Pepper flakes
Little jar of capers
Pitted Kalamata Olives
Big can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 lb of Spaghetti

Bring big pot of salted water to a boil and time cooking the spaghetti so it is done with the sauce.

Pour the EVOO (love me some Rachel Ray) into the pan and sautee the garlic (scapes) for a few minutes. I layer salt and pepper here with the red pepper flakes as well. After 3-5 minutes, add the majoram and chopped parsley. When you smell the herbs release their flavor (1-2 minutes), and the tomatoes, capers, and olives. Through whole olives in if you have a lot, chop 'em in half if you don't have that many. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.

Toss with the spaghetti and serve topped with Parmigina Regiano or Romano cheese.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

More Veggies

Tuesday brought lots of rain to the North Shore of Massachusetts, so I postponed my PYO expedition until Friday morning. But I'll have some help - picking various types of peas will be a FAMILY effort this week. But as far as the distribution goes - here's what I got.

* Lettuce
* Arugula
* Radishes
* Parsley
* Collards
* Beets
* Kohlrabi
* Turnips
* Tatsoi
* Beets
* Scapes
* Broccoli

The first recipe I made was inspired by Rachel Ray. Some people love her. Some people hate her. I think she's really bubbly and shares simple recipes. And her pasta salad recipes are pretty spot on.

A&E's Show Stopping Pasta Salad

1 package of any kind of tortellini
Uncooked bunch of greens (I have used spinach and tatsoi)
Cheese (feta, fresh mozzarella, ricotta salata, and goat cheese all work)
Any combo of the below vegetables or meats add great flavors and texture

* artichoke hearts
* sun dried tomatoes
* roasted red peppers
* pitted kalamata olives
* salami
* pepperoni
* soppressata

And for the homemade dressing

* Zest of 1 lemon
* 1 smooshed clove of garlic
* 2 teaspoons lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* fresh thyme leaves


Cook and drain the pasta. If you are using dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes, just put them in the pot with the pasta and they'll rehydrate while the pasta cooks.

Coarsely chopped the greens, and any of the other ingredients. Slice olives in half or leave them whole. Do whatever you want. It's your salad not mine.

Make the dressing. Chop the garlic, then add salt to it and mash it into a paste with the flat of your knife. Transfer garlic paste to a small bowl and add lemon zest, lemon juice and vinegar to it. Whisk in oil, thyme and pepper.

Put everything in a bowl, toss it, and serve it. It's never around long enough to take a picture.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I have added a new section of links for my favorite websites and local organizations. Check them out.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Alternative use for greens

I felt like doing something new with my greens. Here is a nice example of something tasty. I made a spinach tomato pizza with sauteed spinach and chopped tomatoes. I know you may be shocked but I did not make the dough by hand. I bough it at the farmstand. But it tasted way better and any dough I've ever made. I also added a top coat of olive oil. I saw the pizza chefs do this at The Upper Crust Pizzeria in Newburyport. It makes a huge difference.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Gadget

Check out my digital resume!

Click on the Visual CV button to your right.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

CSA Week 2

This week I wore my hiking boots so trudging out to the PYO fields was no issue. I picked one quart of strawberries, finding the best areas actually near the farm road in the plants splashed with mud from the passing equipment. I also came back with two quarts of snap peas, some of which have already been consumed in another stir-fry.

Inside at the farm stand I collected week two's goodies:
  • kale
  • tatsoi
  • bok choi
  • arugula
  • spinach
  • lettuce
  • turnip hakurei
  • radishes
  • kohlrabi
  • scallions
  • garlic scapes
I purchased a few farm grown tomatoes, some soy sauce, a couple of cookies and an iced coffee for the ride home. The tomatoes are a must-have for salads and the soy sauce comes in handy for cooking the Asian greens.

I'd like to share a recipe for kohlrabi couscous that was emailed to us. It is from MACSAC’s Asparagus to Zucchini Cookbook.

Couscous with Kohlrabi and Chermoula Dressing

1-2 t minced garlic
2 T minced cilantro
2 T minced fresh parsley
1 t paprika
1/2 t ground cumin
3 T fresh lemon juice
3 T olive oil
2-3 C cooked couscous, cooled to room temperature
2 C peeled, diced kohlrabi
1/2 C diced radishes
16 kalamata or oil cured imported black olives, chopped
1/2 C crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Mix garlic, cilantro, parsley, paprika, cumin, and salt to taste. Stir in lemon juice and olive oil. Toss this mixture with couscous. Bring to room temperature. Gently toss with kohlrabi, radishes, and olives (if desired). Serve as is, or sprinkle with feta cheese.