Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Perfect Fall Sandwich

The autumn season is upon us, even if the weather has been rather balmy as of late. This it the perfect time of year to take advantage of the local apple harvest, which has been amazing this season. I think it was at a lunch visit to Sovano Bistro a number of years back where I first had the amazing combination of cheddar, bacon, apple and arugula in a grilled sandwich--the flavors paired so well together--the fall version a BLT. I found this link to an open faced brie melt with much the same idea. One more idea for all that arugula you have been getting in your share.

Monday, September 27, 2010

This Week's Share-Asian Turnips and Sweet Potatoes

This week's share will feature asian turnips and sweet potatoes along with greens beans, spicy salad greens, potatoes, the last of the tomatoes, and radishes.
With all the rainy weather I wanted to provide a link to one of my favorite soup recipes-a black bean and sweet potato soup from Fine Cooking-the perfect complement to an arugula salad with tomatoes and radishes.

The asian or hakurei turnips might also be new to many of you. Sweet and tender these salad turnips are delicious raw. Click here for a link and recipe from New York Magazine.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This Week's Share-more arugula and winter squash

This week's share once again features winter squash (the last week for a while) and arugula. Nikki has provided a great simple recipe for the winter squash and if all those bags of arugula are piling up in your refrigerator--I have a solution--Pesto! Click here for a simple arugula pesto recipe that pairs perfectly with salmon. What could be more delicious of a meal of baked salmon with arugula pesto, roasted potatoes, and green beans.

Now for Nikki's simple but delicious squash recipe:

Roasted Maple Rosemary Squash

The squash has been fantastic this year! I don't like to mess with it too much. Just a few ingredients to enhance its tremendous flavor. I am also a huge fan of roasting squash. I roast it before I do anything to it, whether I puree it, chop it up to add to a dish, or blend it into a soup. I hope you enjoy this simple recipe for roasted squash as much as we did. I served this along side roasted chicken and green beans with shallots and applewood smoked bacon. Delicious!


2 medium-large, orange-fleshed winter squash (acorn, ambercup, carnival, or gold nugget will all work, as well as other varieties), halved and seeded
4 pats of butter (about 1/2 Tbsp or so)
4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp fresh, chopped rosemary leaves
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper


Preheat oven to 400.
Roast squash until just tender and pierce-able.
Pierce the squash in several places with a fork.
Top each half with a pat of butter, a Tbsp of maple syrup, a sprinkling of rosemary, and a pinch of sea salt and pepper.
Return to the oven and roast until golden and caramelized.
Allow to cool slightly, halve or quarter (depending on the size of your squash or the appetite of the folks who will be eating it ;-)), and serve (make sure to pour some of the sauce that spilled onto the pan back on top of each serving).


P.S. The squash we used from Inverbrook (the orange-fleshed, orange-skinned variety from last week's share) had a skin that was completely edible after roasting. Some folks in my family still decided to scrape the flesh from the skin and leave the skin behind. I ate every last bit of skin and flesh. So good.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Notes from Nikki-Roasted Red Potatoes and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Roasted Red Potatoes, Vidalia Onions, and Green Peppers
This dish is a cousin of the more common "Home Fries". It is super easy to make... roasted in the oven, rather than fried in a pan. A crowd pleaser, for certain. We ate this with fried eggs as a breakfast-for-dinner treat.


3 pints new red potatoes, quartered
1 large vidalia onion, sliced
1-2 large, or 3-4 small green bell peppers, sliced
1-2 large cloves of garlic, minced
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Handful of chopped, fresh parsley


Preheat the oven to 400.
Combine the potatoes, onion, garlic, sea salt, pepper, and olive oil in a large casserole dish.
Roast, tossing occasionally until the potatoes are firm tender.
Toss in the peppers and roast just a bit longer until the peppers are firm tender and roasted just enough.
Remove from oven, top with parsley, and serve.


Serves 6
Sliced Heirloom Tomoatoes with Rosemary Maple Balsamic Drizzle and Smoked Sea Salt


Sliced heirloom tomatoes

3-4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 clove of garlic, smashed
1 long sprig rosemary, leaves only
Pinch of fresh ground pepper

Smoked finishing sea salt


Process the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, rosemary leaves, and pepper in a food processor until emulsified.
Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
Drizzle this magical mixture over the sliced tomatoes and top with smoked finishing salt.
(Try not to fight over the drippings leftover on the plate. ;-))

Sunday, September 12, 2010

This Week's Share-Arugula and Acorn Squash

This week's share will include both acorn squash and arugula as well as tomatoes, potatoes, asian greens, and garlic. Both the acorn squash and the arugula have nice nutty overtones, perfect for the tastes of the fall season. One of my personal favorites in an arugula salad with either apples or asian pears--here is a link to Food and Wine's version.

And for a simple way to prepare acorn squash click here for Fine Cooking's braised acorn squash with rosemary and brown sugar--yum!

Finally here is the latest Note from Nikki--I am sure the acorn squash will be a fine substitute for the carnival squash.

Below is a lovely recipe for this fall weather we are experiencing.


Carnival Squash Soup


6-8 C stock (chicken or veggie)
4 carnival squash, halved and seeded (acorn or any other orange-fleshed winter squash would also work)
Glug of olive oil
1 large, sweet onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp peeled, minced ginger
2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (I used honey crisps because it was what I had on hand. Go for any tart or sweet/tart apple)
Generous pinch of allspice
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
1-3 Tbsp honey, depending on the sweetness of your apples and squash
Generous splash of milk, half and half, or cream
Dollop of sour cream to top each bowl, or, alternatively, fresh grated gruyere cheese

Roast squash in a 400 degree oven until soft.
Scoop out the flesh, discard the skin, and set aside.
Saute the onion, garlic, and ginger in the olive oil until softened.
Add in the apples and squash, stirring to combine.
Toss in the allspice, sea salt, and pepper, and saute briefly to combine.
Add in the stock and turn up the heat to bring the liquid to a simmer.
Simmer until the squash and apples start to break down and become very soft (10-15 minutes).
Stir in the milk, half and half, or cream.
Turn off the heat.
Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until it is smooth and consistent.
Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top each one with either a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkling of cheese (not both ;-)).

Serve with a loaf of warm, farm fresh, whole-grain bread and plenty of butter.


Serves 6-8

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Notes From Nikki--Roasted Fingerlings and Haricot Vert and Mushroom and Perpetual Spinach Risotto

Two More Great Recipes from Nikki:

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Haricot Verts with Tarragon Cream Sauce


2-3 pints whole fingerling potatoes
1-2 quarts haricot verts, stem sides snapped off
2 glugs olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

Glug olive oil
Small, sweet, yellow onion (or half of a medium onion) minced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Generous splash of white wine
Handful of fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped + a sprig for garnish
1/4-1/3 C half and half or cream
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

Toss the potatoes in a glug of olive oil and a bit of sea salt and pepper, and roast in a 400 degree oven until tender. This should take about 25-30 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes.
Toss the haricot verts in a glug of olive oil and a bit of sea salt and pepper, and roast in the oven along with the potatoes, keeping in mind that the potatoes will take longer to cook. Put the beans in for approximately the last 5-10 minutes of potato roasting time. The beans should still have a snap when you take them out of the oven. They roast very quickly.

While the potatoes and beans are roasting, saute the onion and garlic in a skillet over medium heat until softened.
Add in the wine and simmer, reducing by at least half.
Season with sea salt and pepper and throw in the tarragon, stirring to combine.
Add in the half and half, stirring and simmering just a bit longer.
Remove from heat and set aside.

Once the potatoes and beans are finished roasting, nestle the potatoes on a bed of the beans.
Drizzle with the tarragon cream sauce and garnish with a sprig of tarragon.

Serve and Enjoy!

Mushroom and Perpetual Spinach Risotto


2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small-medium yellow onion chopped (I suggest going for a milder, sweeter version)
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. stemmed and chopped mushrooms (I used a combination of crimini, oyster, and shitake)
2 bunches Inverbrook perpetual spinach, stemmed and chopped (any variety of spinach or chard would also work)
2-3 Tbsp finely chopped, fresh oregano
2-3 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/3 C white wine
About 3 C Arborio rice (I used a 17.6 oz package from Trader Joe's)
6 cups chicken or veggie stock
4-6 oz. grated or shredded parmesan + more for passing at the table
Generous splash of half and half or cream
Sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Fresh parsley for garnish


Using a decent sized soup pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until the onions are softened a bit.
Add in the oregano and thyme and stir to combine.
Toss in the mushrooms and saute briefly until the mushrooms just start to release their juices.
Add in the perpetual spinach and saute until just wilted.
Add the wine to the pot, and simmer until reduced by about a third.
Add the rice and stir until well-coated.
Add in a cup of the stock and stir. Continue to stir occasionally until the stock is significantly absorbed/evaporated.
Repeat this step until you have used up all the stock and/or the rice is firm tender (al dente).
Add in the half and half and the parmesan, stirring until well incorporated.
Add in sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Serve garnished with a sprig of parsley.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

This week's share-Fresh Shelling Beans and Winter Squash

Hi Folks. I have not posted in a while and I blame it on wonderful Nikki and her wonderful recipes. Every week she has sent along these great recipes and photos that I have consequently gotten a little lazy about my own recipe postings. This week however I thought you might need some ideas for the fresh shelling beans and the winter squash.

First here is a link to a basic instructions for cooking the fresh shelling beans from eHOW

Two great recipe links:
Fresh Shell Bean Gratin that will probably use two weeks worth of beans.

Fresh Shelling Bean Soup and with Pistou

If you want to do your own recipe search, look up horticultural beans and for those who picked up the little flagrano beans they are also known as flageolet. Happy searching.

Now for the winter squash--you had a choice of carnival or an acorn squash. I found this informative link with basic squash info and recipe links, I hope this is helpful. In the next couple of weeks I will also have the kabocha and the ambercup as possible choices. Happy cooking, despite the heat.