Lemon Basil OIl

Lemon basil was on the CSA list tonight so along with the summer squash fritters I made a bowl of this for drizzling over.

Put a large pot of water on to boil.  Toss in a sprinkle of salt.  While this is coming to a boil prepare the basil for blanching.  You need about 2 cups of leaves picked off the stems.   I think it’s more to fill the blender so it can process it properly.  If you have a small blender you could probably get away with a smaller quantity.   Even in my big kitchen here at the farm I couldn’t find a measuring cup so I grabbed a 16 ounce delicontainer and stuffed it full of leaves twice.  Get a large bowl fill with cold water and ice, set aside.  Pour the cleaned basil leaves into the hot water.  Wait about one minute using a strainer or spyder (chinese food skimmer) quickly pull basil out of hot water and place into ice cold water.  This is known as blanching and will stop the basil leaves from over cooking.  Once all basil is chilled, strain and squeeze excess water from leaves.  Place in blender.  Add a pinch of salt and about one cup of good olive oil.  Puree in blender.  Once it’s pureed you can strain it or leave the mashed up leaves in and serve it that way.  For the zucchini fritters I left it unstrained.  Keep unused portion in refrigerator.  This would be a nice treat drizzled over pasta, fish, cheese, even your morning scrambled eggs!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Zuchinni Fritters

1 large or 2 small zuchinni

 

1 extra large scallion

2 eggs

1/4 cup all purpose flour *

salt and pepper for seasoning – to your taste

Sunflower oil or olive oil  **

Take a box grater and on the side with the largest holes shred the zuchinni.  Place in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Mix well and gently so salt gets in all the nooks and crannies.  Leave like this for around 10 minutes or so.  Take a clean kitchen towel – flour sack style is best – place the salted zuchinni in the towel and wring out the excess moisture.  If you don’t have a towel you can just wring it in your hands!!  Place the squeezed zuchinni in a large bowl.   Using the same grater shred the scallion – Gently stir in eggs, salt and pepper.  Mix well then slowly add flour.  Again mix well so there are no lumps.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of oil.  Heat just until the oil sputters when you drop a small spoonful of the zucchini batter into the pan.  Carefully spoon about 2 tablespoons of zucchini batter into hot oil.  Keep spooning batter spacing the fritters a couple inches apart.

Cook until golden about 2 or more minutes.  Lower the heat a bit to medium flip the fritters and keep cooking till golden on the other side about 2 or 3 minutes more.  Remove cooked fritters from pan to a plate that has been lined with paper towels.  Continue till all batter is cooked.  You may need to add more oil to pan – just be sure to let oil get hot before you start frying the next round.

Serve as is or you can serve the firtters with a side of sour cream or creme fraische with some fresh dill or basil finely chopped and mixed into cream.  Tonight I served this with a lemon basil oil.   (The recipe is here.)   A nice garlic aiole would be wonderful as well!!!

* My brother has celiac so we are always looking for ways to feed him!  I made these fritters using Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour instead of the AP Flour.  I used about the same amount 1/4 cup and they came out great.  My taste testers all gave them thumbs up.

** I fried the fritters in sunflower oil instead of olive oil.  I think this is lighter in texture and the flavor doesn’t over ride the squashes in this dish!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Quick Asian Salad

What to do with those asian greens that keep coming in the CSA share?  Here’s a quick hot/cold salad

2 cucumbers – slice lengthwise in half.  Then take each half and  slice lengthwise again in thirds.  Take the lengthwise pieces and slice across them into small wedge pieces

Sprinkle with about a teaspoon of salt.  Give a quick grind of pepper.  Pour about 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar over cucumbers.  Set aside while you prepare the rest of the salad

1 bunch asian greens – cleaned and chiffonaded – take the leaves roll them like a cigar and cut straight across them with a sharp knife.  They will be like thin ribbons when you’re done.

1 or 2 scallions – depends on the size this weeks share they were quite large.  Clean and slice across the stalk so you end up with coin shaped pieces.  Keep going up the stalk – the entire plant is edible!!

Take about 3 tablespoons of sesame seed oil, pour into a pan.  Heat oil just till it glistens from the heat.  Toss in the cut up scallions.  Cook till softened.  Add the chiffonaded asian greens.  Cook till wilted.  Remove from heat.  Add the marinated cucumbers to the asian greens and scallions.  Finish with salt and pepper to taste.  You can add fresh chopped herbs to this – cilantro and parsley are two of my favorites!!!  I like this poured over rice for more of a lunch or dinner dish.  Would also go well over a nice piece of firm white fish.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Raw (almost) Zucchini Boat Salad Appetizer

Ingredients:
2-4 Zucchini – preferably young squash that is 1 1/2 – 2 inches in diameter
A handful of Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half or quarters
1-2 Scallions – slice thin
Grated or Cubed Cheese – like provolone or mozzarella
Half cup of pre-cooked grain – like farro, quinoa or cous cous
Vinaigrette Dressing – 2-4 tablespoons, to taste
Herbs of your choice – parsley, basil, etc. – minced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Scrub the Zucchini well.  Cut off hard ends, then cut in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the inner pulp to make a boat shape, reserving the pulp.
2. Cook the boats briefly – steam or microwave for 3-4 minutes, until tender but still crisp – then set aside to cool.
3. Prepare the stuffing – mince the zucchini pulp and combine it with tomatoes, cheese, grain, scallion, and dressing.  Taste the stuffing and adjust seasonings.
4. Cutting a very thin sliver off the bottom of each “boat” helps it to stay upright.  Stuff each boat.  Top with a sprinkle of salt, fresh cracked pepper and sprinkle of fresh chopped herbs.  Chill briefly before serving.

Posted in Appetizer, Grains, zucchini | Leave a comment

Spinach Pesto

Half pound of Spinach – remove any root parts, wash and dry thoroughly
Handful of Parsley – leaves only (about a quarter cup, packed)
1/2 cup nuts – walnuts are great, but you can also try almonds
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic – microwave for 5-10 seconds to remove some of the bite (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil – quarter cup to start

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until desired consistency is reached
Taste and adjust seasonings, or add olive oil if  a thinner consistency is preferred.

Pesto can be served in many ways – over pasta, as a dip with bread or veggies, as a spread in a sandwich, or use it on pizza instead of tomato sauce.
Store pesto in the fridge topped with a thin layer of olive oil, use within a week or freeze it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Cheryl’s Honey and Citrus Rutabagas and Carrots

I knew I needed to find another way of cooking rutabagas rather than the old fashioned mash em up throw in lots of butter and hope for the best.  I found a great starter recipe on epicurious, made a few changes, and discovered a great simple recipe that took less than half hour total between prep and serving time.  I also have to give my disclaimer that I cook by feel and often don’t weigh and measure so I am giving you the closest approximation to quantity that I can

From the field

IMG_0418

Place a large pot about 6 quarts on stove fill with about 3/4 of water.  Add a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil.  Take two rutabagas, wash.  Lop off greens and save for another recipe (I’ll work on one for us)  trim the weird looking hairy side roots.  Peel the skin.  Carefully slice into about 1/8inch thick slices.  The flesh can be a bit firm so go carefully.  A mandolin might come in handy for this.  After you sliced them into discs, slice lengthwise into long strips.  Then cut again on a diagonal across the strips.  I liked this style of cut its an easy mouthful size.  Set sliced up rutabaga aside.  Take about two large carrots, peel.  Cut in half lengthwise.  Slice a piece about 1/8 inch thick off side of carrot.  Roll carrot over onto the flat side and slice the carrot lengthwise into long “planks”.   After carrot is planked cut the planks into long strips.  Then cut again on the diagonal -just like you did the rutabaga.  Set aside.

IMG_0420

Take sliced up rutabaga and toss into boiling, salted water.  Cook for about two minutes then add sliced up carrot.  Cook for about five minutes.  Check for doneness.  I like my vegetables cooked more firmly so for me the five to six minutes total cooking time is great.

IMG_0423

Take two lemons and two juicing oranges.  Zest the peel from the fruit.  Use a rasp or grater for this being careful not to take too much of the pithy white part as this can be very bitter.  Squeeze the juice from the oranges and lemons into a separate bowl.  Set aside.  Strain the cooked carrots and rutabaga.

In a large sauté pan place about 1/4 cup butter and a splash of good flavored olive oil.  Let cook till butter gets a nice brown color.  Watch closely it can burn in a heartbeat!

IMG_0424

Add carrots and rutabagas.

IMG_0427 (1)

Add juice and peel from lemons and oranges.

And about 1/4 cup of honey

IMG_0429

Roughly chop about 1/2 cup of parsley and chives – you can use other herbs too like mint or cilantro, toss into carrots and rutabagas

IMG_0436 (1)

Stir well and serve.  This is great as is as a side dish with a fish like haddock, or over a pasta like orzo!!

IMG_0450 (1)

Original recipe source: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/carrots-and-rutabagas-with-lemon-and-honey-105812

Posted in Carrot, Cooked Vegatables, Herbs | Tagged | Leave a comment

Potato Leek Soup (dairy free!)

We have so many baby leeks this week; we decided to make a batch of Potato Leek Soup.  Perfect for this damp weekend!  This version is dairy free, but feel free to add dairy if you prefer.  This soup freezes well.

Ingredients:
4 tablespoon olive oil (or butter)
8-12 baby leeks, or 3 mature leeks – discard dark green leaves then rough chop into 1 inch lengths.
1 medium onion onion – rough chop
2 cloves garlic – rough chop
1 pound potatoes – peel and large dice
1 quart stock (chicken or veggie stock)
Herbs of your choice (parsley, thyme, etc.)

Instructions:
1. In a heavy soup pot, heat the oil, then saute Leeks, Onion and Garlic for about 10 minutes stirring frequently.
2. Add Stock, Potatoes and Herbs. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and cover. About 20 minutes.
3. Puree in the pot using a stick blender, or puree batch by batch in a regular blender.
4. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste.  Thin the soup with a little bit of water, if you like a thinner soup.
5. Serve with your toppings of choice – chives, crème fraiche, etc.

Posted in Potato, Soup | Leave a comment