Friday, August 10, 2012

Greens & Grains

Something tasty, quick, and hearty for dinner.
Start with:
Chopped onion, garlic & EVOO.
Saute while you search the fridge for veggies.
Cook Up
Some quinoa, farro, brown rice,
or use what you have leftover.
Everything green you've got, chopped (I used spinach, broccoli, zucchini).
Saute some more.
Throw In:
A can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
Some Calamata Olives
Some Feta Cheese

Rotini with Spinach & Ricotta

So Simple, So Good.
Put the pasta water up to boil.
Chop an onion and start it sweating in a tad of olive oil.
Wash and chop a bunch of spinach.
Drop the pasta in the pot.
Throw the spinach in with the onions and cook until it wilts.
Remove the pasta from its pot to the pan with the spinach and onions, using a slotted spoon.
Stir in 1/2 - 1 cup ricotta cheese (use the purest you can find - read the ingredients - there should be only milk, vinegar, and salt).
Add a little pasta water to thin if you like.
Salt & Pepper to taste.
Top with a dollop of ricotta and little grated Parmesan if you like.

Greens & Feta over Polenta

Step One: Mix up some polenta, spread in a pan, cut into squares, let it set up, then brown in a little olive oil - or - cut up a pre-made roll and brown.

Step Two: Start with the barest amount of olive oil, some garlic and diced onions. Saute while you wash and chop the greens (any combo will do, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collards, even romaine).

Step Three: Add the greens to the saute and cook them to your taste.

Step Four: Spread the greens over the polenta and top with Feta cheese.

Summer Stir Fry With Tofu

 Take what's in the share, chop it up and stir fry it.
Green Cabbage
a little canola oil
 Brown up some tofu, add a touch of toasted sesame oil. Mix up a batch of peanut sauce (the recipe is elsewhere on this blog) to toss the tofu in.
 We skipped the rice/noodles on this one and had some Trader Joe's vegetarian egg rolls instead.

Another Summer Salad

(lots and lots of radishes in the share this year)
Toasted Walnuts
Israeli Feta Cheese
Salt & Pepper
Fresh Lime Vinaigrette
(EVOO, fresh lime juice, splash of white wine vinegar, fresh oregano, touch of honey)


Summer Salad Supper Number 5


Romaine Lettuce
Chick Peas
Gently Browned Polenta, diced
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Grilled Red Onions 

Stuffed Zucchini for Two

Lots of zucchini in the CSA box this week, eight medium I think, and there are only two of us, so first plan of attack - stuff them. I have a stand-by recipe from a cookbook I bought on the bargain rack more than twenty five years ago. I decided to change it up a bit to make it grill-friendly and include some quinoa.

2 small to medium zucchini
1/2 large onion (white or yellow)
1 ear of fresh corn
1/4 - 1/2 jalapeno pepper
1 small plum or large grape tomato
1/3 cup walnuts
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
olive oil
salt & pepper

Heat up the grill.
  1. Slice the zucchini in half length-wise, brush with olive oil, and place on the grill.
  2. Slice the onion and brush or toss with a little oil. Place the slices on the grill with the zucchini.
4.  Cook over high or med-high heat, turning once or twice until nicely browned and cooked through.
5.  While the veggies grill, cook some quinoa according to the package directions (don't forget to rinse it before cooking).
6. Meanwhile, cook the ear of corn in your usual way. This time I tried a method recommended by my dad - put the whole, unhusked ear into the microwave in high for 4 minutes, then cut off the end opposite the silk, peel back the husk and pull off the silk.
7. Cut the corn from the cob and place in a bowl.
8. Chop the tomato and add it to the bowl.
9. Dice the jalapeno and add it to the bowl.

10. Check on the veggies on the grill and turn them if needed.
11. Toast the walnuts in a heavy pan over medium heat for 5 minutes or so, then chop them.
12. Grate about 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.

13. When the zucchini are nicely browned and cooked but not mushy and the onions are soft, remove the veggies from the grill and let them cool a bit.

Then, chop up the onions and scoop out the flesh from each zucchini half to make a "boat"

Chop the zucchini middles and add with the quinoa, walnuts, cheese, and chopped onion, to the bowl. MIx well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mound the mixture into the zucchini "boats" and serve.
I served this with a fresh tomato and basil salad (tomato, basil, tiniest bit of EVOO, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper).

fresh peaches and home-made vanilla ice cream from Alsetde Farms

Red Cabbage, Apples & Onions with Cottage Cheese Dumplings

Cook with the food on hand, that's my motto. So, here's what was hanging around from last weeks share on the day before the new share was due to be picked up:
a little more than 1/2 a small head of red cabbage
1/2 a large white onion
2 summer apples (actually left from a couple of weeks ago)
What to do...
I used a slightly modified version of Mollie Katzen's Sweet & Tart Cabbage with Cottage Cheese Dumplings from her Still Life With Menu Cookbook.

  1. You should start by putting a big pot of water up to boil for the dumplings. I used my soup pot, filled a little more than half way. You need a lot of room for the dumplings to bump and boil.
  2. I sliced 1/2 of a white onion thinly and began to saute the slices in 2 tsp of Olivo margarine (you could use butter here, or olive oil - butter gives the best flavor).
  3. While the onions were cooking I cored and quartered the cabbage and used the thin slicing blade on the food processor (savior of those who live with RA) to slice it.
  4. I added the sliced cabbage, about 1/2 tsp of whole cumin seeds, some freshly ground black pepper,  and a sprinkle of salt to the  pan with the onions and continued to cook that mixture.
  1. While the cabbage and onions were cooking, I cored the apples and put them through the thin slicing blade on the food processor as well (I did not peel them - mostly because I was feeling lazy, but it did not matter. After they cooked down, we did not even notice the peel).

  1. I added the apples to the pan, plus about a teaspoon of sugar, covered the pan and let everything cook together while I made the dumplings.
  1. I beat 2 eggs with 4 oz of cottage cheese, then added 1 cup of flour (I used unbleached white, you could use any kind you like I think) and a teaspoon or so of chopped dried dill (fresh is better, but I haven't got a dill plant on my deck this summer). I also added some salt - although I couldn't bring myself to add the full teaspoonful recommended in the original recipe.
  2. I had my usual hard time getting the dumplings to be uniform in size and shape. I dropped them by teaspoonful into the gently boiling water. Too much handling of the dumpling dough makes tough dumplings, but I may try forming them into balls with floured hands next time to see if they I can get them a little more rounded.
  3. The dumplings must boil gently for 15 minutes. They almost double in size. Then you scoop them out with a slotted spoon. I let mine rest on a linen towel while I removed the cabbage mixture from the pan to a serving dish, wiped out the pan, and melted another 2 tsp of Olivo. 
  4. Then I sauteed the dumplings on med-high heat for a couple of minutes to give them a nice golden-brown crisp.

And the finished dish...