Friday, August 28, 2009

Guest submitted recipe and recommendation

Check out this pizza recipe. It was suggested by one of my yoga teachers. It looks delicious. The closest I've ever come to a fig was in a fig bar, but this looks like something I should give a shot.

It reminds me of the Coevolution Flatbread at Flatbread Company. We have one in Amesbury, MA. If you've never been, you should give it a try. They have a great selection of local brew on tap, the best salad and dressing around, and a wide selections for all pizza tastes. The Coevolution Flatbread features goat cheese, rosemary, carmelized onions, kalamata olives, and roasted red peppers. Flatbread also offers meat and veggie specials with tons of local and organic ingredients.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I just wanted to share a link. It is a recipe for oven roasted sweet potatoes with dill. It's not a combo I have tried, but something I'll give a shot. I happen to have some sweet potatoes and dill on hand right now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I thought developing content for a blog about what to do with too many vegetables would be easy. Last year was our first year with a farm share, and often we needed to find creative ways of cooking three pounds of beets, or two pounds of string beans (which by the way, is a lot of string beans). But this year with the wet weather and the poor crops, we haven't had to be that creative. Last year we had to find a way to cook the same vegetable for three to four different meals during the week. That's just not the case now. So this year when we get a bunch of kale, we saute it and grill some hamburgers. Then it's gone - no more worries.

Maybe I should change the title of my blog. Cooking and eating vegetables is just not a challenge this year. I guess I can call it "Unemployed Guy Who Cooks Vegetables from Time to Time," or "How to Saute Greens," or "Baked Beets Yum," or "Salad, it's not just for Lunch When You're on a Diet Anymore." Last year I swear the freezer was packed with leftovers that we ate from October through April when the farm share distributions stopped. We made soups, stews, and casseroles.

But on the brighter side, we are still committed to organic and Eco-friendly farming. We are even growing corn in our front yard. I hope it is getting enough sun. Our tomatoes are behind schedule, but I can't wait to make some fresh sauces and salsas.

I still prepare tasty dishes with ingredients from the farm, even if I don't always share the recipes. This morning for brunch (I am unemployed you know), I ate poached eggs with kale on rye with broiled Peruvian potatoes seasoned with rosemary and sea salt.

Here is a recipe for odd bean salad that you can make with cauliflower.

Crunchy Cauliflower Salad

1 head cauliflower - broken into florets
2 cans garbanzo beans - rinsed and drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes - halved or quartered depending on their size
3 green onions - green and white parts cut down to the root
2 tbsp. chopped basil
2 tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley
zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp. red wine or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

- In small bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, olive oil, vinegar and mustard.
- In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Add cauliflower florets and blanch quickly, 2-3 minutes. Rinse with cold water or drop in ice bath to stop cooking. Drain and allow to cool off in colander.
- While cauliflower is cooling, add chopped onions, tomatoes, and garbanzo beans to a mixing bowl. Add in cauliflower once cool and add the vinaigrette. Toss together and sprinkle with parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Allow to marinate together for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Farm Fresh Salsa

The wet early summer weather ruined the harvest for many vegetables we're used to seeing this time of year. Usually in August we get many more cucumbers, squashes, peppers, zucchinis, and tomatoes. That hasn't stopped me from making something that I love; salsa. Fresh salsa is a great summer taste and allows for lots of creativity. You can add extra jalapeno peppers for more heat or local peaches for sweetness. Make homemade tortilla chips with nice flour tortillas and impress your friends.

The recipe below reflects how I made this yesterday. Feel free to add garlic, fresh chopped peaches or pineapple, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, onions, jalapenos, or whatever else you can think of.

Farm Fresh Salsa

2 garlic scapes
4 shallots
3 dried chiletpin peppers
1 dried jalapeno pepper
2 grilled poblano peppers
1 pint of grape tomatoes
1/2 bunch washed cilantro
1-2 tbs lemon juice
sea salt

I prefer small bits of garlic scapes, shallots, and dried hot peppers in salsa, so I add these four ingredients first into the food processor, and chop them to small bits. Next I add the tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, lemon juice, and sea salt and pulse until it reaches my desired consistency. Good luck!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Moving out of your comfort zone

Growing up in an Italian/American household, I became familiar with the comfort foods my mom and grandmother made. They weren't really vegetable heavy. When I became the chef in my household, I had to develop a behavior to move out of my "food comfort zone," trying things that I did not often eat as a child.

Recently in our farm share, we have started to receive carrots, dill, and zucchini. These vegetables and herbs pair well with fish. And with a couple non-native ingredients like capers, lemons, and peppercorns, you can create a restaurant quality meal in less than a half an hour. I like to steam this dish in parchment paper. When serving guests, you'll get an A+ for presentation.

Haddock and Julienne Vegetables in Parchment Paper

1/3 to 1/2 LB white fish per serving - I used haddock recently
Handful of carrots (I used a mandolin to julienne the vegetables)
Zucchini or summer squash
green peppercorns
slices of lemon
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment about 18" long. Layer fish, olive oil, dill, capers, peppercorns, julienne vegetables, and lemon slices. Fold over parchment and tightly fold the edges in a progressive fashion around the edges. Cook for 13-15 minutes or until fish is flaky.

I found the camera too late. Everything edible is gone.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Websites for recipes

I am sure that we all feel intimidated at times by foods we are unfamiliar with. We may not know what they taste like, their texture (raw or cooked), their cook times, et cetera. But really all we need to do is find a recipe that sounds good. We may not know what the end product will taste like when we're done, but if we followed the directions, we have a building block to tweak the recipe the next time we try it.

Below are some sites I use.