Farmers’ Market Box September 22nd, 2022

Weekly Farmers Market Box at Specialty Produce

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Mixed Summer Squash Side Dish

Serves 6 to 8

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound mixed summer squash, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
One 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes and their juice
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
Salt and pepper
1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

  1. In a large oven proof skillet, heat the oil, sauté the garlic, onion, and oregano for 3 to 5 minutes until the onion begins to turn translucent. 
  2. Add the squash and sauté until the squash is crisp/tender, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, parsley and basil, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.
  4. Sprinkle the squash mixture with the cheeses and bake for 10 minutes until the cheeses are melted, and golden brown.  Let the dish rest for 5 minutes and serve.
  5. This can also be toss with cooked pasta for a main dish. 

Loaded Summer Squash Casserole

Serves 6

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound summer squash, ends trimmed, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
Salt and pepper
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
6 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the 8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the butter, add the squash and sauté until the squash is crisp/tender.
  3. Season liberally with salt and pepper. 
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the sour cream, cheese, onions, and bacon. 
  5. Using a slotted spoon, add the squash to the bowl, and stir to blend. 
  6. Transfer to the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling.
  7. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.   

Braised Chicken with Apples

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 cup unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 large onion, thinly sliced into 1/2 moons
4 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into wedges
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
Salt and pepper

  1. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the butter, season the chicken with salt and pepper, and brown the chicken on both sides.  Remove to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. 
  2. Melt the remaining butter, and sauté the onion, apples, sugar, and thyme, until the onions are golden brown—this may take 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the cider and chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.  Add the chicken back to the skillet, and simmer, uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes until the chicken cooked through.  (160 degrees on an instant read meat thermometer)
  4. Add the cream (if using) season with salt and pepper and serve.  This is delicious with rice, or buttered noodles.  

Caramelized Apple, Onion, and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Serves 6 to 8
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced into 1/2 moons
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon sugar
3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 pound bulk sage breakfast sausage
3 cups sourdough bread, crust removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
10 large eggs
1 cup whole or 2% milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet, add the onions and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent, add the thyme, and sugar, sauté another 2 minutes.  Add the apples, and cook another 10 to 15 minutes, until the apples, and onions begin to caramelize.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl. 
  3. In the same skillet, cook the breakfast sausage breaking up any large pieces, and cooking until the sausage is no longer pink.  Transfer the sausage to the mixing bowl with the onions and apples. 
  4. Add the bread and cheese to the bowl. 
  5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, cream, mustard, salt, and pepper together until blended.
  6. Pour over the sausage and bread mixture, pressing down to saturate the bread. 
  7. Transfer to the baking dish, and bake for 40 t0 45 minutes, until the eggs are set, and the cheese is melted.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into portions. 
  8. Do-Ahead: This is the perfect do-ahead casserole, make it the night before, cool, cover and refrigerate, then bring to room temperature, and pop it into the oven in the morning. 

Honey Roasted Carrots

Serves 4

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 pound mixed carrots, tops removed, scraped, cut in half horizontally, and then lengthwise
Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil or parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, and cumin. 
  3. Add the carrots and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Spread the carrots evenly onto the prepared baking sheet. 
  5. Roast for 10 minutes, turn, and roast another 10 to 15 minutes until the carrots are tender. 
  6. Serve warm or room temperature.  

Carrot Top Pesto

Makes about 2 cups

1 1/2 cups packed carrot tops, (tough stems removed), washed, and spun dry
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the carrot greens with the garlic, pine nuts, and cheese.
  2. Pulse on and off to break up the garlic and nuts. 
  3. With the machine running, add the oil, until the mixture is a paste.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Refrigerate for up to 7 days or freeze for up to 6 months. 
  5. Cook’s Notes: To use the pesto, the paste can be used for bruschetta, or tossed in pasta, and rice. Add more oil to some of the pesto to make a sauce for grilled meats, roasted vegetables, and poultry. Add a bit of vinegar or lemon juice to make a vinaigrette.

Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Serves 6 to 8

1 1/3 cups canola oil
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
Grated zest of 1 orange
3 cups grated red and yellow carrots
1 cup chopped tangerine segments
1/4 cup tangerine juice
1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice (pecans, macadamia nuts)
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan, or 2 9-inch round pans, with nonstick cooking spray. Or line 24 muffin cups with baking liners.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Add the carrots, tangerines, juice, and nuts, stirring until blended.  Add the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon and stir to combine.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. 
  3. Place the pan on a rack and let cool completely. Spread the top of the cake with the cream cheese frosting.
  4. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
    • Bake cupcakes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs sticking to it, 15 to 17 minutes. 

Tangerine Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 6 cups

Enough to frost two 9-inch layers, one 13 x 9-inch cake, or 48 cupcakes

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine
5 cups confectioners’ sugar
Grated zest of one tangerine
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
Tangerine juice as needed

  1. Using an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese and butter in a medium-size bowl. Add the confectioners’ sugar and zest, vanilla and beat until the mixture is of spreadable consistency. 
  2. If the frosting is too thick, beat in some juice, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months. I recommend you soften it at room temperature after it’s been refrigerated, so it’s easy to spread.

Miso Maple Roasted Apples and Sweet Potatoes

Serves 6

1/3 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons white miso
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 apples, cored, and cut into 8 wedges
1 pound purple sweet potatoes, scrubbed, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup sesame seeds for garnish
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil, or parchment. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the syrup, miso, rice vinegar, soy, and oil.  
  3. Add the apples and sweet potatoes to the bowl and toss to coat thoroughly.
  4. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet, cover the sheet with aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes, remove the foil, and roast another 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through, and they become golden brown. 
  5. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before transferring with all the juices to a serving bowl. 
  6. Do-Ahead: You can roast these ahead, and then re-warm in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. 

Pasta with Russian Kale

Serves 4 to 6

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 pound spaghetti or linguine, cooked 2 minutes short of al dente, saving some of the pasta water
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

  1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and sauté the garlic and red pepper for 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Add the kale to the skillet and toss in the garlic oil.  Add the broth, cover and simmer 5 minutes until the kale is tender.  Uncover, and simmer another 2 minutes, until most of the liquid in the pan has evaporated. 
  2. Toss the pasta into the skillet, and turning it into the sauce, adding pasta water if necessary.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the crumbs with the cheese. 
  4. Plate the pasta, and garnish with the bread crumb mixture. 

Roasted Salmon with Braised Russian Kale

Serves 6

For the Greens

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch Russian kale, washed, spun dry and tough stems removed
Salt and pepper

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil swirl the garlic and pepper, cooking until the garlic is translucent. 
  2. Add the braising mix, and toss in the garlic oil, seasoning with salt and pepper. 
  3. Cook until the greens are tender. 

For the Salmon

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
2 1/2 pound salmon filets

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Put the oil and Old Bay into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. 
  2. Arrange the salmon in the dish and turn to coat. 
  3. Roast for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, or until the fish reaches 155 on an instant read meat thermometer. 
  4. Serve the salmon on a bed of the wilted kale. 

Honeynut Squash Soup with Gorgonzola Crème

Serves 6 to 8

For the Honeynut Squash Soup

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped sweet yellow onion
1 cup finely chopped peeled and cored firm Comice pears, about 2 cups
2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
3 pounds peeled Honeynut squash cut into 1-inch pieces—should be about 6 to 7 cups
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking liners or aluminum foil.  In a large bowl, combine the oil, onion, pears, thyme, ginger, and the butternut squash, tossing to coat with the oil and spices. 
  2. Spread the mixture onto the two prepared pans, and roast for 20 to 30 minutes until the squash is softened. 
  3. Transfer the squash mixture to a Dutch oven, stir in the broth, salt and pepper, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the squash begins to fall apart. 
  4. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup, or cool the soup and puree in a blender or food processor. 
  5. Do-Ahead: At this point the soup can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months, defrost before proceeding.
  6. Add the cream, and parsley, and heat to serving temperature.
  7. When ready to serve, reheat the soup and serve each bowl with a swirl of the Gorgonzola crème.
  8. Serving suggestion:  If you would like to serve this as an appetizer, serve it in “shooter” glasses.

For the Gorgonzola Crème

Makes 1 1/2 cups

3 ounces gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the ingredients, and process till smooth.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Honeynut Squash Lasagna

Serves 6

There are a few make-ahead steps to this lasagna, it’s totally worth the work, and is a beautiful meatless main course.

1 Honeynut squash, cut in half seeds removed
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 pound pancetta, cut into small dice
1/3 cup unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch spinach, washed and spun dry
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
Salt and pepper
Grated nutmeg to taste
One box no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil, or parchment. 
  2. Drizzle the squash with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Roast covered with foil for 1 hour, until tender.  When the squash is cool enough to handle, transfer to a food processor and puree.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. 
  3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the pancetta, until crispy.  Drain on paper toweling. 
  4. Wipe out the skillet, melt the butter, and sauté the garlic for 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Add the spinach and cook until wilted.  Sprinkle the flour over the spinach and cook for 2 minutes.  Slowly add the milk and stir until the liquid comes to a boil.  Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.  Remove from the stove top and cool slightly. 
  5. Coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Spoon a thin layer of the Tatsoi sauce onto the bottom, top with lasagna noodles.  Spread a layer of squash over the noodles, sprinkle with some of the pancetta and Parmigiano, top with lasagna noodles, and spread with some of the sauce.  Repeat making three layers, ending with sauce and remaining cheese. 
  6. At this point the lasagna can be covered and baked for 30 minutes, then uncovered and baked another 20 to 30 minutes until bubbling and the cheese is golden brown.  Allow the lasagna to rest for 10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve. 
  7. Do-Ahead: The lasagna can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for 1 month.  Make sure to bring the casserole to room temperature before baking. 

Breaded Roasted Cauliflower

Serves 6

One head cauliflower cut into florets
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups fine dry breadcrumbs
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

  1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner, parchment or aluminum foil and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put the cauliflower in a large bowl and toss with the oil, salt, and pepper. 
  3. In another large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, and oregano, stirring until blended.
  4. Toss the cauliflower florets into the crumbs, a few at a time, stirring to coat evenly.
  5. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving bowl, serve warm or at room temperature.

Cauliflower Cheese

Serves 4 to 6

One head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup milk or cream
2 cups shredded cheese (your choice here—you can mix and match, too: I love aged Gouda; sharp cheddar—yellow or white; provolone; blue cheese; or Pecorino Romano)
Salt and Tabasco

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. Put the cauliflower into water to cover and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes till still crisp/tender.
  3. Drain thoroughly and transfer to the prepared baking dish. 
  4. In a saucepan, heat the butter, sauté the garlic and shallot for 3 to 4 minutes till the shallot is softened. 
  5. Add the flour and cook whisking for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the broth and milk and bring to a boil, all the while whisking till smooth. 
  7. Remove from the heat add the cheese(se) and season with salt and Tabasco. 
  8. Pour the cheese mixture over the cauliflower and bake for 30 minutes until bubbling and golden brown. 

Chocolate Pear Tart

Serves 6

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup whole blanched almonds
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Amaretto Di Saronno
1 pound firm pears
1/2 cup raw sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine almonds and sugar; process until very finely ground. Add butter, eggs, cocoa, vanilla, salt, and Amaretto, process until combined. Spread mixture evenly in prepared pan.
  3. Peel, halve, and core pears; cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, rubbing them with lemon as you work to prevent discoloration. Arrange slices on chocolate mixture, slightly overlapping, without pressing in.
  4. Place pan on a baking sheet; bake until top is puffed, and a toothpick inserted in center of chocolate mixture comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
  5. Remove tart from pan, and serve dolloped with crème fraiche, or unsweetened whipped cream.

Pear Upside Down Cake

Serves 6 to 8

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 to 3 medium firm-ripe pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, coat the inside of a 9-inch round baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. In a skillet, melt the butter, add the sugar, and cook until the sugar is dissolved, and bubbling. 
  3. Pour the butter mixture into the prepared pan and arrange the pears in a decorative pattern over the butter.  Set aside while making the batter.

For the Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla paste or extract

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar, until fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, and gradually add the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. 
  2. Stir in the milk and vanilla and beat until smooth. 
  3. Carefully pour over the pears in the baking dish.  
  4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Allow the cake to rest for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan.
  5. Turn a cake plate upside down on top of the cake pan and, using potholders, carefully invert the cake pan onto the plate.  Serve the cake warm with vanilla ice cream, or unsweetened whipped cream. 

Stir Fried Chinese Eggplant

Serves 4

2 Chinese eggplants, cut into bite sized pieces
salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon grated ginger
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil

  1. Put the eggplant pieces into a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt.  Set aside while you assemble the other ingredients. 
  2. Rinse the eggplant pieces and heat the oil in a wok or large skillet. 
  3. Add the eggplant and stir fry until the pieces are golden brown. 
  4. Remove from the wok, add the garlic and ginger, swirl in the oil, adding the soy sauce, sugar, and the eggplant back into the pan. Toss to combine.
  5. Serve warm drizzled with sesame oil. 

Spicy Chinese Eggplant and Ground Pork

Serves 4

2 Chinese eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch dice
pinch of salt
1/2 pound minced pork
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon Mirin rice wine
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
One 1-inch piece ginger, sliced
2 green onions, white half and green half divided
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (or to taste)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

  1. Put the eggplant into a large colander and sprinkle liberally with salt.  Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.  Rinse the eggplant, and dry. 
  2. While the eggplant is salted, mix together the pork, ginger and Mirin.  Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. 
  3. In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil, and cook the eggplant until it is golden.  Remove from the wok. 
  4. Add the pork and cook until it is no longer pink.  Remove from the work and mix with the eggplant.
  5. Add the garlic, ginger and white of the green onion to the wok and stir fry for 1 minute. 
  6. Add the chili garlic sauce, soy, sugar, and sesame oil.  Add the eggplant and pork back to the wok and stir fry another 2 minutes.  Garnish with the green part of the scallions and serve over rice. 

Tomato Caprese

Serves 6

3 to 4 medium ripe tomatoes sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar

  1. Arrange the tomatoes and mozzarella alternately on a serving platter, and tuck in the basil in between the mozzarella and tomato slices. 
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with olive oil, and vinegar.  Serve at room temperature. 

BLT Salad

Serves 6

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
One head butter lettuce, washed, spun dry and chopped
3 pineapple tomatoes, diced
6 strips thick cut bacon, cooked crisp, and crumbled
2 cups croutons

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk, garlic, salt, pepper, zest, and lemon juice. 
  2. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  3. In a salad bowl, combine the lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, and croutons. 
  4. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve. 

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box September 15th, 2022

Weekly Farmers Market Box at Specialty Produce

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Stuffed Romanesco Squash

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound Romanesco squash, scrubbed, ends trimmed, and sliced in half lengthwise
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
One 28 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano
Salt and pepper
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella
1/2 cup grated parmigiano Reggiano

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. Using a grapefruit spoon, or a sharp small, bladed paring knife, carve out the inside flesh of the squash, and chop the flesh.  Set the shells aside.
  3. In a skillet, heat the oil, add the garlic, onion, and the chopped squash, sautéing until the onion is softened. 
  4. Add the tomatoes, and oregano, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until thickened. 
  5. Transfer 1 cup of the sauce to a mixing bowl.  Season with salt and pepper, add the breadcrumbs, 1/2 of the mozzarella and Parmigiano, and stir to blend. 
  6. Spread some of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.   Stuff the squash with the bread crumb mixture, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  (Do-Ahead:  The dish can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated overnight, then brought to room temperature and baked)
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the squash is tender.  Serve any remaining sauce on the side. 

Fall Tortellini Soup

Serves 6 to 8

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup red wine
One 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 bunch collard greens, tough stems removed, and sliced into ribbons
2 cups chopped Romanesco squash
1/2 pound yellow wax beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Parmigiano Reggiano rinds, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper
12-ounces cooked cheese or meat tortellini
Extra virgin olive oil for garnish
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, sauté the onion and carrots, until the onion is translucent. 
  2. Add the wine, and bring to a boil, to concentrate the flavor.
  3. Add the tomatoes, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the collards, squash, and beans, and toss in the tomato/wine mixture.
  5. Add the broth and rinds if using, bring to a boil, and simmer for 45 minutes, until the collards are tender. 
  6. Add the cooked tortellini and simmer another 10 minutes. 
  7. Serve garnished with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Southern Collard Greens

Serves 4 to 6

4 strips thick cut bacon finely chopped
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
1/2 pound smoked ham, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 bunch collard greens, washed, tough ends trimmed and chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper

  1. In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp, add the onion, ham, and garlic, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until the onion is beginning to turn golden brown. 
  2. Stir in broth, collard greens, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 45 minutes to one hour until the collards are tender.   

Cider Braised Pork with Apples

Serves 6

2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 4-pound rolled boneless pork loin roast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large, sweet onions cut in half and thinly sliced into half-moons
4 Gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter mixed with 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat and sprinkle the pork roast evenly with the salt and pepper. Brown on all sides in the hot oil and remove to a plate. 
  2. Melt the butter in the same pan, add the onions, apples, nutmeg, ginger, and thyme, and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, and the apples begin to soften, about 6 minutes.  Add the brown sugar, cider, and both broths, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Return the pork to the pan, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the pork is tender, 3 to 4 hours.
  4. Remove the pork from the pan and cover with aluminum foil. Using a slotted spoon, remove the apples and onions from the sauce, reserving them, and bring the sauce to a boil. 
  5. Stir in the butter-and-flour mixture a bit at a time until the sauce is thickened to your taste.  Taste the sauce and correct with salt and pepper, if necessary. 
  6. Add the apples and onions back to the sauce. 
  7. Carve the pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve garnished with some of the sauce and apples. 

Slow Cooker Savvy: Prepare the pork on stovetop through step 2, then transfer everything to a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 9 hours. 

Mom’s Apple Pie Cake

Serves 6 to 8

6 medium-size Gala apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
To make the apple mixture, toss together the apples, cinnamon, sugar, and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Batter

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, melted
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups pecan halves

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Transfer the apples to the prepared pan.
  2. To mix the batter, combine the melted butter, flour, sugar, eggs, and pecans, stirring until blended.
  3. Pour over the apples and bake until the top is crisp and golden, and the apples are bubbling underneath, 45 minutes to 1 hour. 
  4. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature with unsweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Sriracha Japanese Eggplant

Serves 4

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoon rice wine (Mirin)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
5 drops Sriracha
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions (about 4)
1 pound Japanese eggplant, stem end removed, and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, Mirin, sugar, Sriracha and cornstarch.  Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, swirl the garlic, ginger and 1/4 cup of the scallions in the oil. 
  3. Add the eggplant and cook until it begins to color and soften. 
  4. Add the sauce and stir until the mixture is thickened. 
  5. Serve garnished with the reserved scallions, a drizzle of sesame oil and sesame seeds. 
  6. Serve this warm or at room temperature. 

Asian Chicken and Spicy Eggplant

Serves 4

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 pound Japanese eggplant, stem and root ends removed, cut into 1-inch dice
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 pound ground chicken or turkey (or tofu)
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1⁄2 teaspoon sesame oil for garnish
3 scallions finely chopped for garnish
2 cups steamed rice for serving

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet and fry the eggplant till golden brown on all sides.  Remove and drain on paper towels. 
  2. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the wok, sauté the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds, and add the ground turkey or chicken, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink. 
  3. Add the eggplant back to the skillet. 
  4. In a small bowl, combine the oyster sauce, soy, vinegar, sugar, chili garlic sauce, and cornstarch mixture.  Pour into the skillet and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil to thicken the sauce. 
  5. Serve the eggplant mixture garnished with a drizzle of sesame sauce, and scallions.  This is delicious over rice. 

Swiss Beans

1/2 pound yellow waxed beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

  1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, and cook the beans for 3 to 4 minutes, just short of al dente. Drain thoroughly and toss with salt and pepper to season.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 9inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In a saucepan, heat the butter, and whisk in the flour and sugar, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the stove top and whisk in the sour cream, lower the heat to very low and return the saucepan to the stove, and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Season the sauce with salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Combine the sauce with the beans, and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the cheese.
  6. Do-Ahead: The beans can be prepared the day before and refrigerated.
  7. Bake the beans at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is melted, and the casserole is bubbling.

Garnet Yam Home Fries

Serves 6

1 1/2 pounds Garnet yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
2 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, tossing to coat them evenly.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes, turn the yams, and cook another 15 to 20 minutes until crispy. Serve hot.

Garnet Yam Stacks

Serves 6

1 pound sweet potatoes
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat 12 muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Slice the sweet potatoes 1/16-inch thick using a mandoline and place in a bowl.
  3. Toss the potato slices with the butter, herbs, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper until the potatoes are evenly coated.
  4. Layer the potatoes evenly in the prepared muffin tin, stacking them one on top of the other until they are even with the rim of each muffin cup. Bake until the edges of the potatoes are golden and crispy, about 35 minutes.
  5. Let cool 5 minutes, then run a butter knife around the edge of each stack to help them release. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with Parmigiano and parsley and serve immediately.

Roasted Tangerine Chicken

Serves 4 to 6

8 boneless chicken breasts (skin on)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup tangerine juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water or orange juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tangerines, peeled, and segmented
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken with thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a large oven proof skillet, or Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter, add the garlic and onion, and sauté for 1 minute. Brown the chicken skin side down, turn and brown on the other side.
  4. Add the juice, broth, honey, and rosemary. Bring to a boil, and transfer to the oven. Roast for 15 minutes until an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 160 degrees.
  5. Remove the chicken from the sauce and cover with aluminum foil.
  6. Bring the sauce to a boil, add the cornstarch mixture, and bring to a boil.
  7. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, add the tangerines, and parsley. Remove the thyme sprigs.
  8. Pour over the chicken on the platter and serve.

Autumn Salad with Pecan Vinaigrette

Serves 6

6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/4 cup tangerine juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
3 tangerines, peeled, and segmented
1/2 cup pomegranate arils

  1. Put the romaine into a salad bowl. 
  2. In another small bowl, whisk together the juice, vinegar, shallot, honey, and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the pecans to the vinaigrette and toss the lettuce with some of the vinaigrette, enough to coat the leaves. 
  3. Plate the salad, garnish with the tangerine segments, and arils. 
  4. Drizzle with a bit more dressing and serve.

Roasted Delicata Squash

Serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 1/2 pounds Delicata squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, then cut into 1/2 inch moons
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, silicone, or parchment. 
  2. In a bowl, combine the oil, maple syrup, squash, and salt.  Toss to coat.
  3. Spread the squash in an even layer onto the baking sheet, roast for 10 minutes, turn and roast another 10 minutes until the squash is golden brown. 
  4. Remove to a serving platter or bowl, and sprinkle with the Parmigiano and parsley before serving. 

Roasted Delicata Squash Arugula Salad

Serves 4

Delicata squash makes the most delicious chips to serve with dip (blue cheese is my fave), follow the directions for roasting the squash, sprinkle with coarse salt, and cool. Store in zip-lock type bags for up to 5 days.

1 delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot or red onion
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1 bunch arugula, washed, spun dry, any tough stems removed
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese for garnish (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone. 
  2. In a bowl, toss the squash with extra virgin olive oil to coat, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. 
  3. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes until the squash is crispy.  Allow to cool. 
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, cider, shallot, and oil.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Put the arugula into a bowl and toss with some of the dressing. 
  6. Plate the salad and garnish with the squash and blue cheese if desired.  Drizzle the squash with a bit of the dressing if desired. 

Five Spice Asian Pears

Serves 4

These are a delicious garnish for roasted poultry or pork, but also make an amazing dessert served with crème fraiche, or ice cream. If you have a lot of syrup left, boil it down for about 20 minutes until thickened, then cool, and store in the freezer. It’s great as a basis for cocktails, or as a drizzle over pound cake and other desserts.

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon 5 spice powder
1 cup pear nectar
4 firm Asian pears, peeled, cored, and cut in half

  1. In a Dutch oven, stir together the butter, sugar, sherry, spices, and pear nectar until the sugar and butter are melted.  Add the pears turning them in the liquid to coat them. 
  2. Cover and cook on medium heat, turning the pears every 10 minutes until they are tender.  This should take about 30 minutes. 
  3. Carefully remove the pears with a slotted spoon to a serving platter. Spoon the liquid over the pears.  Serve warm, or chilled.

The Perfect Flame Tomato Tart

Serves 4 to 6

One sheet puff pastry, thawed, and rolled out into a 14-inch circle
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup packed basil
Salt and pepper
1 pound perfect flame tomatoes, washed, stemmed, and cut into 1/2-inch slices half
1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat the inside of a tart pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Lay the puff pastry into the tart pan and press into the sides.  Prick the interior of the puff pastry all over with a fork and bake for 12 minutes until beginning to turn golden brown. 
  2. While the pastry is baking, in a blender or food processor, blend the oil, garlic, basil and season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a bowl and toss with the mozzarella.    Transfer to the baked shell, arrange the tomatoes on top of the mixture, top with the Parmigiano and bake another 20 to 30 minutes until the tart is bubbling and the cheese is melted. 
  3. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into wedges. 

Stuffed Tomatoes

Serves 4

2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound Perfect Flame tomatoes, cut in half horizontally
Salt and pepper
Water

  1. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, basil, parsley, and garlic. 
  2. Film the bottom of a large skillet with some of the oil, and place the tomatoes cut side up.  Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  3. Mound the breadcrumb mixture onto the cut side of the tomatoes, and drizzle with the remaining oil. 
  4. Cook over medium high heat, until the tomatoes begin to sizzle a bit, maybe 3 to 5 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup of water to the skillet, cover and simmer gently on medium heat for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the cover, and ladle some of the juices over the breadcrumbs, turn up the heat to medium high and cook another 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and tender. 
  6. Serve the tomatoes warm or at room temperature. 

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box September 8th, 2022

Weekly Farmers Market Box at Specialty Produce

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Beans and Greens

Serves 6

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
1 bunch rainbow chard, tough stems removed, and leaves chopped 1/2-inch wide
One 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes and their juices
1/2 pound dragon’s tongue beans, shelled
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, swirl the garlic and rosemary in the pan for 30 seconds till fragrant. 
  2. Add the kale, and sauté until the kale is wilted.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Add the beans and broth, and simmer for 1 hour, until the beans are creamy and tender.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Dragon Tongue Beans with Pancetta

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 pound dragon tongue beans, shelled
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
One 1/2-inch slice pancetta, finely diced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup packed basil, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup shaved Parmigiano Reggiano

  1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil.  Add the beans and cook for 4 minutes.  Drain thoroughly.  Set aside. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the pancetta, and cook until the pancetta is crispy.
  3. Add the onion, and sauté until the onion is softened. 
  4. Add the beans to the skillet and toss with the pancetta. 
  5. Add the basil, and season with salt and pepper. 
  6. Garnish with Parmigiano Reggiano and serve.

Sicilian Greens

Serves 4

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bunch rainbow chard, tough stems and ribs removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the raisins, shallot, garlic, red pepper, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add the chard, sauté until they are just wilted.
  3. Add the broth, and simmer until the broth has evaporated.
  4. Stir in the Parmigiano, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with the almonds.

Swiss Chard and Artichoke Dip

Serves 6

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup finely chopped red onions
1 bunch Swiss chard, tough stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
One 10-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted and chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups mayonnaise
1 1/2 cup shredded imported Swiss cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
One round loaf unsliced sourdough bread

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, sauté the garlic, zest and onions until the onions are softened. 
  3. Add the Swiss chard, and sauté until the chard is wilted. 
  4. Add the artichokes, and lemon juice, and sauté until the liquid in the pan has evaporated. 
  5. Cool the mixture.
  6. In a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, and cheeses. Add the Swiss chard mixture and stir to blend. 
  7. Cut the top off the bread, and cut out the interior of the loaf, leaving 3/4-inch of bread.  Pour the Swiss chard mixture into the bread, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 40 minutes until the dip is bubbling.  Serve the dip with crudités, pita chips and crackers. 

Roasted Summer Squash with Garlic Herb Butter

Serves 8

One pound summer squash, scrubbed, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped marjoram or oregano

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil, or parchment.
  2. In a bowl, combine the squash, oil, salt, and pepper. 
  3. Spread the squash onto the baking sheet and roast for 12 minutes, turn and roast another 10 minutes, the squash will be crisp/tender.
  4. While the squash is roasting, melt the butter, add the garlic, basil and marjoram, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. When the vegetables are finished roasting, transfer them to a serving dish, and drizzle with the herbed garlic butter. 

Summer Squash and Pesto Ricotta Pasta

Serves 6

One pound penne pasta, cooked al dente, reserving some hot pasta water
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet yellow onion
2 garlic clove, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
Grate zest of 1 lemon
1/2 pound summer squash, scrubbed, trimmed, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup prepared basil pesto, either store bought or homemade
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish

  1. In a large skillet, heat the butter, and sauté the onion, garlic, red pepper, and zest until the onion is softened, and turning translucent.
  2. Add the squash and sauté until the squash is crisp/tender (about 8 minutes)
  3. Season liberally with salt and pepper. 
  4. In a large bowl, combine the pesto, ricotta, and lemon juice. 
  5. Add the hot pasta, squash mixture, and toss to combine.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano. 

Spicy Asian Eggplant with Pork

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 pound eggplant, stem end removed, and cut into bite sized pieces
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine (mirin)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 pound ground pork (or sub in ground chicken or turkey)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  1. In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of scallions, ginger, garlic, and chili garlic sauce. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce.
  3. In another bowl, mix the pork, rice wine and cornstarch.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok, add the eggplant, and cook until the eggplant is soft, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the pork, and cook, until the pork is no longer pink, and there are no large pieces.
  6. Add the scallion mixture and stir for 1 minute. Add the vinegar mixture, and cook another 2 minutes, until the eggplant is tender. Sprinkle with the remaining scallions and serve.

Grilled Eggplant Dip

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 pound eggplant, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; more for brushing
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoons za’atar
Paprika for garnish
Pita chips for serving

  1. Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire. Brush the eggplant slices with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Grill the eggplant until grill marks form on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip the slices and continue to grill until the eggplant is tender, about 2 minutes more.
  3. Put the eggplant in a food processor with the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, za’atar, remaining tablespoon oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pulse until well combined; there should be small pieces of eggplant visible.
  4. Season to taste with more salt and let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving to let the flavors meld. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika, and pita chips.

Eggplant Meatballs

Serves 6

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant, stem end trimmed, and cut in half (about 1 pound)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for cooking the meatballs

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking liner, parchment, or aluminum foil.  Brush the cut sides of the eggplant with 2 tablespoons of the oil, and lay the eggplant halves, cut side down.  Roast for 20 to 30 minutes until the flesh is completely tender. 
  2. Remove from the oven and when the eggplant is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and chop it on a cutting board.  Transfer it to a bowl, and add the breadcrumbs, eggs, remaining oil, basil, cheese, parsley, and pepper. 
  3. Spread the flour onto a cutting board, and using a portion scoop, form the eggplant into 1-inch balls.  Coat them in flour, and then transfer to a baking sheet, while you roll the remaining balls. 
  4. Pour enough vegetable oil into a large sauté or skillet to reach a depth of 1-inch and heat to 375 degrees. 
  5. Fry the polpette until golden brown, turning them frequently. 
  6. Transfer them to a paper towel lined baking sheet and continue to cook the meat-less-balls, until they are all cooked.  The meatballs can be added to marinara sauce or served plain as an appetizer. 
  7. Cook’s Note: If you would prefer to make these into fritters, form them into 1/2-inch thick patties about 2-inches in diameter and fry in about 1/4-inch of olive oil. 

O’Henry Sweet Potatoes with Fried Sage

Serves 6

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
salt
Vegetable oil
Leaves from 1 small bunch sage
1 thyme sprig
¼ cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 garlic clove minced
Large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
8 ounces grated Gruyère, Cheddar or Emmentaler cheese
5 ounces goat cheese

  1. In a saucepan, cover the potatoes and a generous amount of salt with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain but don’t wash out the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, fry the sage leaves: Line a plate with a paper towel. In a small skillet, heat ¼-inch of oil.
  3. Add sage leaves a few at a time, and fry until golden and crisp, usually about 1 minute or so. Use a slotted spoon to transfer fried leaves to the paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining sage leaves, adding more oil to the pan if needed.
  4. In a small pot over medium heat, add the thyme and cream, and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and cover until needed.
  5. Transfer the cooked potatoes to a food processor, and pulse just until mashed. Or pass potatoes through a food mill or large-holed sieve to mash.
  6. Return potatoes to their cooking pot and set it over low heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in butter, garlic, and nutmeg until the butter melts.
  7. Remove thyme sprig from the cream. Stir the cream into the potatoes, then stir in the cheese, a handful at a time, until melted and stringy. Serve immediately, topped with the fried sage leaves.

Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4 to 6

3 vegetable oil
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, and cut into ½-inch chunks
¾ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
¾ teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 to 5 thyme sprigs
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with silicone, parchment, or aluminum foil. In a large bowl, toss together sweet potatoes, oil, salt, curry powder, smoked paprika, cumin, black pepper, and thyme.
  2. Spread the potatoes in an even layer on the baking sheet.
  3. Roast, stirring and flipping the potatoes occasionally, until soft and caramelized, about 1 hour.
  4. As the potatoes roast, place yogurt in a small bowl. Stir in garlic, a large pinch or two of smoked paprika, and salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Serve the potatoes topped with the yogurt sauce. 

Pear Upside Down Cake

Serves 6 to 8

To make this ahead, bake the cake, and then cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Re-warm, covered with aluminum foil in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes to loosen the caramel. Then turn out onto a serving platter.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 medium firm-ripe pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, coat the inside of a 9-inch round baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. In a skillet, melt the butter, add the sugar, and cook until the sugar is dissolved, and bubbling. 
  3. Pour the butter mixture into the prepared pan and arrange the pears in a decorative pattern over the butter.  Set aside while making the batter.

For the Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla paste or extract
Vanilla ice cream for serving

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar, until fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, and gradually add the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. 
  2. Stir in the milk and vanilla and beat until smooth. 
  3. Carefully pour over the pears in the baking dish.  
  4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Allow the cake to rest for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan.
  5. Turn a cake plate upside down on top of the cake pan and, using potholders, carefully invert the cake pan onto the plate.  Serve the cake warm with vanilla ice cream, or unsweetened whipped cream. 

Apple Streusel Muffins

Makes 12

For the Muffins

2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
8 ounces sour cream or Greek Style yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste or extract
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
2 medium-sized Cameo apples, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/2-inch pieces

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. coat the inside of 12 muffin tins generously with cooking spray, both inside the cups and over the top.
  2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. In another bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Add the melted butter, pouring in a slow and steady stream, while whisking vigorously to emulsify the mixture.
  3. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and gently fold until the liquid is just barely combined, being careful not to over-mix. (A few lumps are okay.)
  4. Stir in the chopped apples. Fill each muffin tin all the way to the top with batter; set aside while preparing the streusel.

For the streusel

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

  1. For the streusel, add the flour, brown sugar, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Pour in the melted butter and gently stir with a fork until well combined and small pebble-sized pieces remain throughout.
  2. Top each filled well with a heaping tablespoon of streusel, lightly pressing it into the batter. (A round cookie cutter placed over the cup helps keep the mess to a minimum.) Bake muffins for 18 to 22 minutes, until tops are golden, and a toothpick comes out clean. Leave the muffins in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
  3. Do-Ahead: The muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days. The batter can be made in advance and held in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or frozen for 2 weeks (thaw overnight in the fridge before using.)

Poached Pears and Apples in Red Wine

Serves 8

This versatile dish can be a garnish for your Thanksgiving turkey, or it can be a dessert. Spoon crème fraiche or ice cream into the center of the fruit, then drizzle with the syrup. Freeze any leftover syrup it is incredible served over chocolate cake or used in cocktails.

1 cup full bodied red wine
1 cup ruby port
1 ½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 Warren pears cored and cut in half
2 Cameo apples cored and cut in half

  1. In a Dutch oven, combine the wine, port, brown sugar, and cinnamon, add the pears and apples, you will have to arrange them in layers, and spoon some of the sauce over the fruit. 
  2. Cover and cook over medium high heat at a simmer, for 20 to 30 minutes until the fruit is softened. 
  3. Transfer the pears to a serving platter.  Strain the sauce into a saucepan, discarding any solids. 
  4. Bring the sauce to a boil, and boil for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sauce becomes syrupy.  Spoon the syrup over the pears on the platter and serve at room temperature.

Slow Cooker Chicken with Pears and Apples

Serves 6

¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 firm Cameo apples, and 2 firm pears, peeled, cored, and cut into wedges
2 medium onions cut into half moons
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2 chicken bouillon cubes or 2 teaspoons chicken stock base
8 slices thick cut (Applewood smoked) bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 chicken breast halves, skin and bones removed
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup finely chopped Italian parsley

  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter and sauté the apples, pears, onions, and thyme until the onions begin to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the mustard, sugar and cider, and transfer to the insert of a 5 to 7-quart slow cooker.  Add the bouillon cubes, crushing them to dissolve, and set the cooker on warm while you sauté the chicken.
  2. Wipe out the skillet, and cook the bacon until crisp, draining it on paper towels.  Sprinkle the chicken with the pepper, and brown the chicken in the bacon drippings, transferring to the slow cooker insert.  Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, until the chicken is cooked though and the apples and pears are tender.   Stir in the cream and parsley and serve on the warm setting. 

Broccoli Salad

Serves 6

½ cup golden raisins (or dried cranberries)
½ red onion, finely sliced
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 pound broccoli
1 Cameo apple cored and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
salt and black pepper
½ cup toasted sliced almonds
1 cup red grapes, halved crosswise

  1. Place raisins and red onion in a small bowl. Add vinegar, sugar, ¾ teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons of water, and toss to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Peel the woody exterior from the broccoli stalks and discard. Chop the stalks into ½-inch pieces. Chop the broccoli florets into ½-inch pieces. (The pieces do not have to be uniform or the same shape.) Place all the broccoli into a large mixing bowl.
  3. After 10 minutes, finish the dressing by adding the olive oil and sesame oil to the bowl with the raisins and red onion, and stir well to combine. Taste and season with more salt if needed. It should be tangy, slightly sweet and a little salty.
  4. Add the raisin-and-onion dressing to the broccoli along with the apple and scallions. Toss well so that everything is well coated. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Just before serving, add the almonds and grapes and gently toss. Serve at room temperature.

Broccoli Toasts with Aged Provolone

Serves 6

1 bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut into small florets
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Black pepper
6 (¾-inch thick) slices of a 10-inch round peasant loaf
3 ounces grated aged provolone

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the broccoli for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain broccoli and pat dry.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch tall-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally until the broccoli is cooked down and very tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add a tablespoon or two of water, if needed, to help it along. Stir in lemon zest. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.
  3. While the broccoli cooks, heat the broiler. Lay the bread on a large sheet pan and toast until golden, about 1 to 3 minutes a side depending on your oven. (Check often to make sure they don’t burn.)
  4. Remove from oven and divide the broccoli mixture between the toasts. Scatter each toast with the grated provolone, return to oven and broil until the cheese melts and turns golden in spots, 1 to 3 minutes more. Remove from oven and serve slices whole or cut in half.

Sheet Pan Sausage and Habanada Peppers

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound fresh sausage, such as sweet or hot Italian sausage
1/2 pound Habanada peppers, seeded and sliced into 2-inch strips if large
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 shallots, peeled and cut into ½-inch wedges
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, or silicone.
  2. Score the sausages in a few places on both sides, making sure not to cut all the way through. In a bowl, toss the sausages with the peppers, tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and spread in an even layer.
  3. Roast for 15 minutes, turn the sausages and vegetables, and roast another 20 minutes, until the sausage is cooked through, and the vegetables have a bit of char on them. 

Ricotta Stuffed Habanada Peppers

Serves 4 to 6

1 diced shallots
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh oregano chopped
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 cup whole milk ricotta
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 pound Habanada peppers

  1. Preheat the broiler, and line a 9-inch cake pan with foil.
  2. Wash and dry peppers. Slice tops off and shake out seeds. Use a paring knife if necessary to cut the heaviest portion of the ribs out.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add diced shallots and cook until translucent, stirring regularly.  Cool.
  4. In a bowl, combine shallots with ricotta, oregano, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Process briefly with a hand blender or in a standard blender.
  5. Stack peppers in foil lined pan so that the cut tops are facing up. Pipe filling into peppers until just rounded.
  6. Place under the broiler for 8-10 minutes until ricotta is just browning.
  7. Sprinkle with some flaky sea salt and serve warm.

Purple Tomatillo Salsa

Makes about 3 cups

1 pound purple tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 to 4 jalapeño or serrano chiles, coarsely chopped (and seeded, if you would like a milder salsa)
¼ cup chopped white or yellow onion
1 garlic clove
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup water
Salt to taste

  1. Preheat the broiler, positioning a rack at the highest setting under the heat. Line a baking sheet with foil and place tomatillos on top, stem side down. Broil 2 to 5 minutes, until charred on one side.
  2. Turn tomatillos over and broil 2 to 5 minutes longer, until charred.
  3. Transfer tomatillos to a blender, tipping in any juice that may have accumulated on the foil.
  4. Add chiles, onions, garlic, lime juice, cilantro and water to blender and blend to a coarse purée.
  5. Transfer to a bowl and thin out as desired with water. Taste and adjust salt.
  6. Set aside for at least 30 minutes before serving, to allow the flavors to develop. 
  7. The salsa will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box September 1st, 2022

Weekly Farmers Market Box at Specialty Produce

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Purple Potato Salad

Serves 4

1 pound purple potatoes, scrubbed
2 ribs celery, finely diced
1 torpedo red onion, thinly sliced using the red and tender green parts
1/4 cup finely chopped dill weed (or two tablespoons dried)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

  1. Put the potatoes into water to cover and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until tender.  Cool completely.
  2. When cooled, cut into bite sized pieces, transfer to a salad bowl, add the celery, onion, dill, zest, and lemon juice, tossing to blend. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, and mustard. 
  4. Toss with the potatoes, until coated.  Season with salt and pepper.  The salad can be refrigerated for up to 12 hours. 

Pasta alla Norma

Serves 6

1 pound penne or rigatoni, cooked 3 minutes short of al dente, saving some of the hot pasta water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 pound eggplant, stem and root ends removed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes and their juice
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
Salt and pepper
1 cup crumbled ricotta salata

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, sauté the garlic, red pepper, and onion for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion begins to soften. 
  2. Add the eggplant and cook until the eggplant is golden brown. 
  3. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the basil, and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to coat.  Add 1/2 of the ricotta and toss again.
  6. Serve garnished with the remaining ricotta. 

Grilled Eggplant with Herb Vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 6

One pound eggplant, stem and root ends trimmed, cut into rounds
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

  1. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Arrange eggplant slices on baking sheet. Brush both sides with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Grill until slightly charred and tender, turning occasionally and moving to cook evenly, about 5 minutes.  Arrange the slices on a serving platter.  Drizzle with basil vinaigrette. 

Basil Vinaigrette

1 garlic clove
1 cup packed basil leaves (coarsely chopped)
2 tablespoons finely chopped red torpedo onion
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons white vinegar
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the ingredients, and process/blend until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.  The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  It’s great as a drizzle over grilled meats, poultry, and vegetables. 

Orecchiette and Green Bean Pasta Salad

Serves 6

1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces orecchiette, cooked 2 minutes short of al dente
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese

  1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil.  Cook the beans for 3 to 4 minutes, until crisp/tender.
  2. Drain thoroughly and put into a large salad bowl with the cooked orecchiette and red onion.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the zest lemon juice, mint, parsley, and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour over the pasta and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper if needed, sprinkle with the cheese and serve at room temperature. 

Green Bean and Tomato Salad

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces (or left whole)
2 scallions, thinly sliced, using the white and tender green parts
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half, or quarters if large
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped tarragon
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

  1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, add the beans, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until crisp/tender.  Drain thoroughly and transfer to a salad bowl.  Allow to cool.
  2. Add the onion, and tomatoes to the beans in the bowl.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, tarragon, mustard, and oil.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Pour over the salad and allow to marinate at room temperature for 1 hour before serving. 

Green Bean and Corn Salad

Serves 6

1/2 pound blue lake green beans, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch lengths
2 cups corn cut from the cob
6 strips thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 cup finely chopped red torpedo onion, using the red and tender green parts
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper

  1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, add the beans, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until crisp/tender.
  2. Drain thoroughly, add to a bowl with the corn.
  3. In a skillet, cook the bacon until it is crisp.  Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes until translucent.
  4. Add the mustard, brown sugar, and vinegar, bring to a boil, and season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Pour over the corn and beans and serve at room temperature. 

Summer Squash Risotto

Serves 6

For the Squash

2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups grated summer squash
Salt and pepper

  1. In a skillet, heat the butter and sauté the onion and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion is softened.
  2. Add the squash, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until the squash loses most of its moisture. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Do-Ahead: You can make this 2 to 3 days ahead of time, because the squash is so delicate, you add it at the last minute when you are making the risotto.

For the Rice

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot or onion
1 1/2 cups Vialone, Carnaroli or Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (NO CHARDONNAY)
4 to 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth, simmering on the stove top
Sautéed summer squash (see above)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and pepper

  1. In a wide saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, and sauté the onion for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion is softened.
  2. Add the rice, and toast in the butter and onion mixture.
  3. Add the wine, and bring to a boil, stirring until the wine is almost evaporated.
  4. Add the broth a ladleful at a time, stirring while waiting for the liquid to evaporate.
  5. Continue to add the broth, at about the 20 minute mark, taste the risotto, the rice should be barely tender (it will continue to cook once you have removed it from the stove top)
  6. Add the remaining butter, the reserved zucchini mixture and 1/2 of the Parmigiano. Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with the remaining cheese.
  7. INSTA-POT/Pressure cooker:  reduce the broth to 3 1/2 cups and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes, quick release, then stir in the butter, squash, and Parmigiano.
  8. Cook’s Note: If you don’t’ want to use wine, add 1/2 cup more broth to the pot.

Summer Squash and Chicken Sheet Pan Bake

Serves 6

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1 leek coarsely chopped, using the white and tender green part
Salt and pepper
8 chicken breast halves, skin and bones removed
4 cups summer squash, sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 cups sliced leeks, using the white and tender green parts
1 basket yellow tomatoes, halved if large
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped basil
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the oil, mustard, vinegar, garlic, and leek and puree until thickened.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Divide the liquid in half and marinate the chicken in one half of the mixture for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. 
  3. Put the remaining marinade in a zip-lock bag, add the squash, leek, and tomatoes, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate until ready to bake. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, arrange the vegetables on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone.  Top with the chicken, and drizzle with any leftover marinade.  Sprinkle with the basil and cheese, bake for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and registers 160 degrees on an instant read meat thermometer.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.  
  5. Cook’s Note: You can also make this dish with thick fleshed fish substituted for the chicken; I’ve done this with salmon, or halibut or sea bass. 

Olive Oil Cake

Makes one 9-inch cake

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 ¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon grated tangerine zest
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¾ cup milk
1 cup chopped tangerines

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the inside of a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip eggs on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute.
  4. Add 1¼ cups sugar and zest, increase speed to high, and whip until mixture is fluffy and pale yellow, about 3 minutes.
  5. Reduce the speed to medium and, with mixer running, slowly pour in oil. Mix until oil is fully incorporated, about 1 minute.
  6. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl as needed. Add the milk and mix until combined, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated, about 1 minute, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  8. Stir in the tangerines and stir to blend.
  9. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan; sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over entire surface.
  10. Bake until the cake is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes.
  11. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.  Remove side of pan and let cake cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.

Yu Choy Sauté

Serves 4

1 bunch Yu choy, washed and spun dry
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan over low heat for 30 seconds. Stir in the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then immediately turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the boiling water.
  3. Add in the yu choy and stir gently, cooking for 2 minutes.
  4. Using a pair of tongs remove the vegetables from the pot and arrange on a dish.
  5. Pour the warm sauce over the yu choy and serve. 

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves 6

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 bunch Yu Choy, tough stems removed, and chopped
2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
8 ounces fresh soba noodles
2 teaspoon soy sauce
2 scallions, finely chopped for garnish
1 teaspoon sesame oil for garnish

  1. In a wok, or Dutch oven, heat the oil, add the garlic and ginger, and swirl in the pan for 30 seconds until fragrant. 
  2. Add the Yu choy, and stir fry for 1 minute, until the Yu choy is wilted. 
  3. Add the carrots and toss in the ginger/garlic oil.
  4. Add the broth, chicken, soba noodles, and soy sauce. 
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve garnished with scallions and sesame oil. 

Korean Short Ribs

Serves 4 to 6

4 garlic cloves
1 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup sugar
3 Asian pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp Japanese rice wine
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp pepper, or more depending on your taste.
3 pounds boneless short ribs

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, soy, sugar, pears, honey, rice wine, sesame oil, and pepper and puree. 
  2. Pour the mixture into a zip-lock bag and add the short ribs.  Seal the bag and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to 24 hours. 
  3. Drain the marinade into a saucepan and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. 
  4. Preheat the grill and grill the short ribs until they are browned on all sides—this may take 5 minutes per side.  They should be medium rare on the inside.  Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. 

Roasted Asian Pear Salad

Serves 6

2 Asian Pears, cored, and cut into 8 wedges
1/2 cup Raw sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
One head leaf Lettuce, washed, spun dry and chopped
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone.
  2. Dip the pear wedges into the raw sugar, and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, turn the pears, and roast another 10 minutes, until golden brown. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire, garlic salt, mustard, and curry powder. 
  4. Put the lettuce into a salad bowl and toss with the dressing. 
  5. Plate the salad, top each portion with pear wedges, drizzle with a bit of dressing, and garnish with sliced almonds. 

Passion Fruit Curd

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Passion fruit curd is delicious on toast, or as a filling for cakes, or a topping for a cheesecake.

8 passion fruits
3 large eggs
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

  1. Open the passion fruits and push through a sieve. Transfer for the pulp to a saucepan, and whisk in the eggs, butter, sugar, and cornstarch.
  2. Cook over medium low heat until the curd begins to bubble and is thickened.
  3. Push the curd through a sieve and allow to cool. Push a piece of plastic wrap onto the curd, to avoid it forming a skin. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Passion Fruit Meringue

Serves 6

2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons lemon rind, finely grated
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh passionfruit pulp
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups milk
4 eggs, separated
3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream, whipped stiffly for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place butter, lemon rind, lemon juice, passionfruit pulp, sugar, flour, milk, and egg yolks in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Using a metal spoon, fold 1/4 of the egg white into lemon mixture. Gently fold in remaining egg white.
  4. Spoon mixture into prepared dish.
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and just set.
  6. Meanwhile, make meringue using an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar,1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture is thick and glossy.
  7. Preheat the broiler, dollop meringue over pudding. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden Serve immediately with whipped cream garnish.

Jimmy Nardello Pimento Cheese

Makes about 4 cups

1/2 pound Jimmy Nardello peppers, stem end removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. Tabasco
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1/8 tsp. smoked paprika
4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

  1. Remove the stem end of the peppers and chop finely. 
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet, and sauté the peppers until they are softened.  Add the onion, and sauté another 3 to 4 minutes until softened.  Cool and set aside. 
  3. Put the cream cheese in a medium bowl and beat it with a wooden spoon until softened. Add the mayonnaise and mix well. Add the hot sauce, salt, sugar, cayenne pepper, white pepper, and smoked paprika and stir to blend. Add the cheddar cheese and stir again.
  4. Fold in the pepper mixture. 
  5. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Tightly covered, the pimento cheese will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or freezes for up to 3 months. 

Ranchero Sauce

Makes about 4 cups

This is terrific with Huevos Rancheros, cheese enchiladas or served over a quesadilla. It freezes well and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 day.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound Jimmy Nardello peppers, stem ends removed, and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons tequila
One 28-ounce can tomato puree, or canned crushed tomatoes and their juice

  1. Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion, and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, peppers, cumin, salt, and chili powder and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring, to prevent the vegetables and spices from sticking or burning.
  2. At the end of 8 minutes, the vegetables should be soft and the garlic and onions, almost translucent. 
  3. Add the tequila and allow it to evaporate.
  4. Add the tomatoes puree and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes.
  5. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Serve warm.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box August 25th, 2022

Weekly Farmers Market Box at Specialty Produce

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Garlic Butter Roasted Yams

Serves 4

1 pound garnet yams, scrubbed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup unsalted butter
6 large cloves of garlic finely chopped or minced
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil, or parchment.
  2. In a bowl, combine the yam pieces, oil, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  3. Spread evenly onto the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, turn, and roast another 20 to 25 minutes until tender, and golden brown.
  4. While the yams are roasting, melt the butter, and sauté the garlic in the butter, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. When the yams have finished roasting, transfer them to a serving bowl, and drizzle the butter mixture over the yams.  Garnish with parsley and serve. 

Hemingway Cocktail Slush

Serves 4

Legend has it this daiquiri was served at Havana’s El Florito bar and was a favorite of Ernest Hemingway; they called it Papa’s Poison.

1/2 cup dark rum
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup cocktail grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons maraschino liqueur
2 tablespoons simple syrup
2 cups ice cubes
Maraschino cherries and lime slices for garnish

  1. In a blender, combine the rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice, liqueur, simple syrup, and ice.  Blend until pureed. 
  2. Serve in 4-ounce glasses garnished with cherries and lime slices.

Sea Breeze Cocktail

Serves 4

8 ounces Cranberry juice
5 ounces vodka
6 ounces ruby grapefruit Juice
4 lime wedges
Ice cubes for serving

  1. In a pitcher, combine the cranberry juice, vodka, and grapefruit juice.  Stir to combine.
  2. Fill glasses with ice cubes and pour in the sea breeze mixture.  Top with a lime wedge and serve. 

Crookneck Squash Pancakes with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound crookneck squash, ends trimmed, and shredded
salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped shallot or onion
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
1 large egg
Few drops Tabasco
1 cup fine breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  1. Put the shredded squash into colander, and sprinkle evenly with salt.  Let sit for 15 minutes and press out all the moisture that has accumulated.
  2. Put the squash, garlic, onion, basil, egg, and Tabasco into a large mixing bowl, and stir to blend.  Sprinkle in the breadcrumbs and stir to combine. 
  3. In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil. 
  4. Using a 1/4 cup measure form the squash into patties, and fry in the oil for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown.  Drain on paper toweling and serve with cucumber yogurt sauce.  (See recipe below)

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Makes 3 cups

2 cups Greek style yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 cup grated Japanese cucumber
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and Tabasco to taste

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients, and season to taste with salt and Tabasco.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. 

Crudites with Fresh Herb Dip

Serves 4 to 6

For the Crudites

Crookneck squash, cut into rounds
Rainbow carrots, tops removed cut into matchsticks
Japanese cucumbers, ends removed, cut into matchsticks
Cauliflower, separated into florets
Yellow wax beans, blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drained

For the Dip

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek style yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. 
  2. This dip is also delicious over grilled vegetables, topping baked potatoes, as a pasta or potato salad dressing, and as a dollop over grill seafood or chicken. 

Japanese Cucumber Salad

Serves 4

1/2 pound Japanese cucumbers, scrubbed, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  1. In a bowl, combine the cucumbers, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, tossing to combine. 
  2. Allow to marinate for 2 hours, when read to serve, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. 

Cheesey Tomato Cauliflower Gratin

Serves 6

1 medium-size head of cauliflower
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
One 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes in juice
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground coriander seeds
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup chopped chives

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil and cook the cauliflower for 2 minutes.  Drain well, and season with salt and pepper.  Put the cauliflower into the prepared baking dish. 
  3. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, and sauté the onion, garlic, and thyme leaves for 3 minutes, till the onion is softened. 
  4. Add the tomatoes, cinnamon, and coriander.  Simmer for 15 minutes, season with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour the mixture over the cauliflower. 
  6. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, and goat cheese, and pour over the tomatoes and cauliflower. 
  7. Sprinkle with the Gruyere and bake for 30 minutes until bubbling, and the Gruyere is golden brown. 
  8. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. 

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

Serves 6

Think “loaded baked potatoes” and you’ll see the similarity. You can change up the flavors here, subbing in chorizo for the bacon, and pepper jack for the cheddar, and red onion for the scallions. Or you can use marinara or pizza sauce in place of the cheese sauce, mozzarella, and Parmigiano for the cheddar for a pizza pie version. Lots of ways to make this your own.

1 head cauliflower cut into bite-size florets
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 strips bacon cooked crisp, crumbled, and saving the drippings
1/2 cup finely chopped shallot or onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups grated sharp white or yellow cheddar cheese
Few drops Tabasco
1/2 cup sour cream
3 thinly sliced scallions, using the white and tender green parts
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. In a bowl, combine the cauliflower, salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings, tossing to coat.
  3. Spread into the pan, and roast for 15 minutes.
  4. While the cauliflower is roasting, heat 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings in a saucepan, add the onion, and sauté till just turning translucent, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in the flour, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. 
  5. Add the broth and whisk until smooth and the mixture boils.
  6. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the bacon, Tabasco, sour cream, and half of the scallions.
  7. Pour over the cooked cauliflower, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  8. Roast another 15 minutes and serve hot. Serve garnished with the remaining scallions.

Sweet and Spicy Carrots

Serves 4 to 6

1 bunch rainbow carrots, scarped, ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 tablespoon honey
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

  1. Steam the carrots for 5 minutes until crisp/tender. Cool slightly.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, Sriracha, honey, garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, and parsley.
  3. Pour over the carrots and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve at room temperature.

Grilled Eggplant Salad

Serves 4 to 6

1 large eggplant
1 plum tomato, diced
1½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Pita bread for serving (cut into quarters)
1/4 cup capers for garnish
Shaved ricotta salata for garnish

  1. Heat grill to medium high. Prick the eggplant all over with a fork, put in on the grill and close the cover; cook, turning occasionally, until eggplant is very soft, and skin is blistered, about 15 minutes.
  2. When cool enough, scoop out the insides of the eggplant and coarsely chop.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and toss with tomatoes, vinegar, oregano, and garlic. Stir in oil and parsley, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Load the salad onto the warm pita, garnish with capers and ricotta salata.  

Grilled Eggplant Chutney

Makes about 3 cups

Use this delicious dish as a condiment with grilled poultry, meats or as a topping for crostini with buratta or whipped ricotta.

1 eggplant, cut lengthwise into ¾-inch planks
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ red onion, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup cider vinegar
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley

  1. Rub the eggplant with the olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes a side. Remove from heat and cut into medium dice.
  2. In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot.
  3. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly colored, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the eggplant, sugar, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add cilantro and serve.

Yellow Wax Bean and Squash Ragout

Serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound yellow wax beans, trimmed
3 to 4 yellow squash, ends trimmed and sliced 1/2-inch thick
One 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, and sauté the onion and garlic, until the onion is beginning to turn translucent. 
  2. Add the beans, squash and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the basil and parsley and simmer another 10 minutes until the beans are tender, and the sauce has thickened.  Serve garnished with crumbled Feta. 

Yellow Wax Bean and Scarlet Runner Bean Salad

Serves 4

1/2 pound yellow wax beans, trimmed
1/2 pound shelled scarlet runner beans
1 small red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
2 Japanese cucumbers, scrubbed, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar, to taste
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, and boil the yellow beans for 3 minutes, drain thoroughly.  With the same water, simmer the scarlet runner beans for 15 minutes till tender.  Drain thoroughly. 
  2. In a salad bowl, combine the cooled beans, onion, and cucumbers.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, and Dijon mustard.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss the beans and vegetables with the dressing, toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. 

Creamy Tuscan Beans

Serves 2 to 4

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
1 pound shelled scarlet runner beans
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, sauté the garlic and rosemary for 1 minute until fragrant. 
  2. Add the beans, and broth, bring to a boil, and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes until the beans are tender.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.

Jujube Cake

Makes one loaf

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups ripe or dried, minced jujube*
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1 cup apple juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoonful baking soda
1/2 teaspoonful salt
2 tablespoons sliced almonds

  1. Preheat the oven at 325 degrees and coat the inside of a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a saucepan combine the brown sugar, oil, minced jujube, lemon zest, cinnamon, vanilla, and juice. Bring to a boil, then set aside to cool. Be careful not to overcook because mixture can turn bitter.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt. Combine dry ingredients with wet and pour into a lined loaf cake pan. Top with the sliced almonds.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes or a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy.

Jujube Rice Pudding

Serves 4

12 jujube fruits
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups milk
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pistachios for garnish

  1. Wash the fruits, remove the seeds, and coarsely chop.
  2. Rinse the rice once and drain.
  3. Combine the milk and coconut milk in a measuring cup.
  4. Put the rice, fruit, and 2 cups of milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Grate some fresh nutmeg into the pan.
  5. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Heat 1 cup milk, then add and stir. Cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Add up to one cup of hot milk and stir. Add honey and cinnamon.
  8. Take off the heat. Allow the rice to rest, taste for doneness, and add more milk if you prefer a creamier texture.   Top each serving with chopped pistachios.   

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box August 18th, 2022

Weekly Farmers Market Box at Specialty Produce

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

  • Passionfruit – Good Hill Farms
  • Celebrity Tomatoes – Good Hill Farms

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Bruschetta with Whipped Ricotta, Elephant Heart Plums and Balsamic Drizzle

This bruschetta can be made with any stone fruit, think peaches, nectarines, peacotums, cherries. You can mix in fresh chopped tomatoes with the fruit, too.

Serves 4 to 6

For the Bruschetta

One baguette, sliced 1/2-inch thick
Olive oil
Flaky sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone.
  2. Brush the bread with oil, and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 10 minutes, until the bread is toasted. 
  3. The bruschetta can be cooled and stored in zip-lock bags for 2 days.

For the Topping

1 cup whole milk ricotta
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3 Elephant heart plums, chopped
1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
6 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (optional—see cook’s note)

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the ricotta, garlic salt, basil, and oregano. 
  2. When ready to serve, spread the mixture onto the bruschetta.
  3. Top with some of the plums, bacon, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. 
  4. Cook’s Note: The original recipe for this calls for guanciale or pancetta, but both can be hard to find.  They add a lovely salty note to the bruschetta, but it’s totally optional. 

Elephant Heart Plum Tart Tatin

Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 pound Elephant heart plums, halved and pitted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 piece frozen puff pastry, defrosted and kept cold
vanilla ice cream for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Put a medium non-stick ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Melt the butter add the cinnamon and maple syrup and stir to blend.  Put the plums into the pan, cut side down, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the plums start to become tender. 
  3. Roll out the pastry to a 12-inch circle, and put the pastry over the plums, using a wooden spoon to push it into the edges of the pan.
  4. Bake 16 to 20 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden and puffed up.
  5. Remove from the oven, let rest for 5 minutes, place a serving platter that is 12-inch bigger than the frying pan, using oven mitts, carefully turn the pan over onto the plate. 
  6. Let the tart rest another 10 minutes and serve with vanilla ice cream. 

Grilled Steak Salad with Plums and Gorgonzola

Serves 4

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 lb. skirt or flank steak, trimmed and cut into 2 or 3 pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
3 elephant heart plums sliced into thin wedges
6 ounces field greens
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
2/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

  1. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare a medium-high (400°F to 475°F) gas or charcoal-grill fire.
  2. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil and the soy sauce in a small dish; rub over the steak.
  3. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Grill, flipping once, until medium rare (130°F to 135°F), about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, garlic, season with salt and pepper.   
  5. Slowly whisk in the remaining oil.
  6. Add the plums and toss well. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the plums to a bowl.
  7. Add the greens and onion to the dressing and toss well. arrange on a serving platter. Slice the steak thinly across the grain. Arrange the steak and plums over the greens, and top with the cheese.

Poblano Corn Chowder

Serves 6 to 8

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped poblano, seeded and cored
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped zucchini
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes (if you have garden tomatoes, use those, if making this in the winter, use cherry or grape tomatoes since they are pretty reliable in the off season)
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1-1/2 cups whole milk
2 cup diced Yukon gold potato
2 cups fresh corn kernels cut from the cob, save the corn cobs
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Cholula to taste

  1. In a large Dutch oven melt the butter, add the onion, poblano, carrot, celery, coriander, cumin, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, then add the broth and milk.
  4. Add the potatoes and corn, and corn cobs.  Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cover, reduce to a low simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potato is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the corn cobs, add the lime juice and season with Cholula, salt, and pepper. 

Poblano Rice

Serves 6

1/4 cup olive oil
2 poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup packed fresh cilantro; tough stems removed
3 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1-1/2 cups basmati rice

  1. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add poblanos, onion, and garlic, and season to taste with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a blender. Add the cilantro, and broth, and blend until smooth.
  2. In the same frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add rice and toast, stirring frequently, until the grains go from translucent to opaque, about 4 minutes. Add the pepper puree. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover tightly, and cook until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes.

Cheesy Chicken and Poblano Casserole

Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped poblano chiles, seeded and cored
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper or a few drops Cholula or Tabasco
2 cups shredded cooked chicken,
1-1/2 cups cooked brown or white rice
2 cups grated sharp or extra-sharp white Cheddar
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the chilies, tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin, sautéing for 3 to 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. 
  3. Add the flour to the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Gradually add the broth and cook until the mixture comes back to a boil. 
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the chicken, rice and 1/2 of the cheese to the sauce.  Transfer to the baking dish, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the casserole is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown. Allow the casserole to rest for 5 minutes, sprinkle with the cilantro and serve.  
  7. Cook’s Note: Any leftovers will freeze well.  Sub in your favorite cheese(s). For example, Pepper Jack if you need more heat.

Corn and Zucchini Sauté with Basil

Serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
3 zucchini, ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 ears white corn, cut from the cob
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil

  1. In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil, add the shallot and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes to soften.  Add the zucchini, sauté until the zucchini begins to color.  Add the corn and toss the mixture together until it is heated through. 
  2. Season well with salt and pepper, add the basil, and toss to combine.  This is delicious with any grilled entrée. 

Grilled Ratatouille Pasta Salad

Serves 6

2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise
2 Japanese eggplants, stem removed, cut into 1″ wedges
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt, freshly ground black pepper
1 pound penne, cavatappi, or mostaccioli, cooked 2 minutes short of al dente
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
8 ounces boccacini (tiny fresh mozzarella) drained, halved
1/4 cup white balsamic or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoons finely chopped thyme leaves
1 cup packed basil leaves, thinly sliced

  1. Prepare a grill for medium heat or pre-heat a grill pan.
  2. In a bowl, toss the zucchini and eggplant with 1/4 cup of oil, and season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Grill, turning often, until tender, and charred all over, 8–12 minutes. Cool on a cutting board. 
  4. Slice grilled vegetables into bite-size pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Add onion, tomato, cheese, vinegar, thyme, and 1½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper, and remaining oil and mix to combine.
  5. Add the pasta to the bowl and toss to coat, then garnish with the basil. 

Poblano Zucchini Bites

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 poblano chili, cored, and seeds removed, finely chopped
3 cups shredded zucchini
Salt and pepper
6 large eggs
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Coat the inside of 12 muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil, add the garlic onion and poblano. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. 
  3. Add the zucchini, sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.
  5. Add the eggs and the cheddar cheese.
  6. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tins and sprinkle with the Monterey Jack cheese.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 
  8. Allow the bites to rest for 10 minutes before serving. 

Spicy Chinese Eggplant and Ground Pork

Serves 4

2 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch dice
pinch of salt
1/2 pound minced pork
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon Mirin rice wine
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
One 1-inch piece ginger, sliced
2 green onions, white half and green half divided
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (or to taste)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

  1. Put the eggplant into a large colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Rinse the eggplant and dry.
  2. While the eggplant is salted, mix the pork, ginger, and Mirin. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  3. In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil, and cook the eggplant until it is golden. Remove from the wok.
  4. Add the pork and cook until it is no longer pink. Remove from the work and mix with the eggplant.
  5. Add the garlic, ginger and white of the green onion to the wok and stir fry for 1 minute.
  6. Add the chili garlic sauce, soy, sugar, and sesame oil. Add the eggplant and pork back to the wok and stir fry another 2 minutes. Garnish with the green part of the scallions and serve over rice.

Vegan Japanese Eggplant Bacon

1/2 pound Japanese eggplant, stem end removed, scrubbed
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick lengthwise slices.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, paprika, liquid smoke, and oil.
  4. Arrange the eggplant on the parchment, and brush with the liquid.
  5. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, flip the slices, brush with the remaining liquid, and roast another 10 minutes until crisp.
  6. Use the “bacon” in BLT’s, crumble it in salads, or use as a garnish.

Miso Glazed Eggplant

Serves 4

3 tablespoons miso paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 pound Japanese eggplant, stem ends removed, and quartered lengthwise
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment, silicone, or aluminum foil.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the miso, brown sugar, vinegar, soy, garlic, and ginger.
  3. Add the eggplant to the bowl and stir to coat.
  4. Spread the eggplant and any excess marinade onto the baking sheet and roast for 10 to 12 minutes, until the eggplant is golden brown and tender.
  5. Remove from the oven, transfer to a serving bowl, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Farro with Rainbow Chard

Serves 4

1 1/2 cup pearlized farro
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup finely chopped red torpedo onion, using the red and tender green parts
Pinch red pepper
One bunch chard, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

  1. Bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil, add the farro, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain thoroughly put into a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the garlic, onion, and red pepper, sauté until the onion begins to soften.
  3. Add the chard and toss until the chard wilts. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the chard to the farro and toss to combine.
  5. Add the Parmigiano and toss again.
  6. Garnish the farro with the pine nuts.

Sicilian Greens

Serves 4

This dish is equally delicious when using kale, or collards.

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bunch Swiss chard, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the raisins, shallot, garlic, red pepper, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add the collards, sauté until the chard are just wilted.
  3. Add the broth and simmer until the broth has evaporated.
  4. Stir in the Parmigiano, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with the almonds.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots

Serves 4

One bunch rainbow carrot, tops removed, scraped, and cut into quarters
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment, aluminum foil, or silicone. 
  2. Arrange the carrots on the baking sheet in an even layer.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, cumin, salt, and pepper. 
  4. Pour the mixture over the carrots and stir to coat the carrots. 
  5. Roast for 7 to 10 minutes, turning once, until the carrots are tender.  Serve warm. 
  6. The carrots tops make a delicious pesto to serve on top. 

Grilled Asian Pear, Arugula and Blue Cheese Sandwich

Serves 4

Unsalted butter, softened
8 slices sourdough or French bread 1/2-inch thick
1 cup gorgonzola cheese, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 Asian pears, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 bunch arugula, washed, spun dry and chopped

  1. Preheat a griddle or grill pan.  Spread butter onto slices of bread. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, cream cheese, and Worcestershire. 
  3. Spread the cheese mixture onto the unbuttered side of the bread. 
  4. Top with pear slices and some of the arugula. 
  5. Top with another slice of bread, butter side up.
  6. Grill until one side of the bread is golden brown, flip and grill until the other side is golden brown. Repeat with each sandwich. 
  7. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.

Slow Cooker 5-Spice Asian Pears

Serves 6

These pears are a simple dessert or can be used to surround a pork or poultry roast as a garnish.

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon 5 spice powder
1/2 cup pear nectar
4 firm Asian pears, peeled, cored, and cut in half

  1. In the insert of a 5 to 7-quart slow cooker, mix together the butter, sugar, sherry, spices, and pear nectar.
  2. Add the pears to the slow cooker, turning them in the liquid to coat them.  Cover and cook on high for 2 ½ hours until tender.  Carefully remove the pears with a slotted spoon to a container, spoon the liquid in the slow cooker over the pears.  Serve warm or chilled.
  3. The syrup from the pears is delicious over vanilla ice cream, or plain pound cake. 

Stuffed Tomatoes

Serves 4

2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound celebrity tomatoes, cut in half horizontally
Salt and pepper
Water

  1. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, basil, parsley, and garlic. 
  2. Film the bottom of a large skillet with some of the oil, and place the tomatoes cut side up.  Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  3. Mound the breadcrumb mixture onto the cut side of the tomatoes, and drizzle with the remaining oil. 
  4. Cook over medium high heat, until the tomatoes begin to sizzle a bit, maybe 3 to 5 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup of water to the skillet, cover and simmer gently on medium heat for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the cover, and ladle some of the juices over the breadcrumbs, turn up the heat to medium high and cook another 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and tender. 
  6. Serve the tomatoes warm or at room temperature.

Celebrity Caprese Salad

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound celebrity tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
Salt and pepper
1 cup packed basil leaves
1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  1. On a serving platter, alternate the tomato and mozzarella slices.  Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Tuck a leaf of basil between the tomatoes and mozzarella.  Thinly slice the rest of the basil, and scatter over the platter. 
  3. Liberally drizzle the oil over the tomatoes and cheese.  Serve at room temperature. 

Celebrity Panzanella

Serves 4 to 6

4 cups cubed stale Italian or French bread
1 pound celebrity tomatoes, cored, and diced
2 cucumbers, peeled, and diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced basil

  1. In a large bowl, combine the bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic chives, oil, and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour over the salad and toss to coat.  Add the basil and toss again. 
  4. This salad should not be refrigerated, it should be left at room temperature for about an hour before serving to let the flavors meld. 

Panna Cotta with Passion Fruit Sauce

Serves 6

1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar, or more to taste
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
1/2 cup passionfruit pulp (see instructions)

  1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. In a 3-quart saucepan, warm the cream with the sugar, salt, and vanilla over medium-high heat. Do not let it boil.
  3. Stir in the gelatin until thoroughly dissolved. Take the cream off the heat and cool about 5 minutes.
  4. Put the sour cream into a medium bowl.
  5. Gently whisk in the warm cream a little at a time until smooth. Taste for sweetness.
  6. Fill ramekins 3/4 full, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until set, about 5 hours. 
  7. Cut the passion fruits in half and scoop out the pulp.  Push the pulp through a sieve and top each panna cotta with 1 to 2 tablespoons passion fruit pulp. 

Passion Fruit Pudding

Serves 4 to 6

2 fresh passion fruits yielding 1/4 cup passion fruit pulp
¼ cup passion fruit puree
1 cup granulated sugar
⅓-cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, separated
⅓ cup melted butter
¾ cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
1Tablespoon rum (optional)

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together ⅔ granulated sugar, salt, and flour. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, butter, milk, rum, lime zest, lime juice and passion fruit puree, and pulp until fully combined.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and whisk to just combine.
  5. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites for about a minute then add sugar and continue mixing on medium-high until stiff peaks form, this may take about 2-3 more minutes.
  6. Using a spatula carefully fold in ¼ of the egg whites mixture, and then fold in the remaining until well incorporated.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan bake until the top of the cake turns light golden and puff slightly (30 to 35 minutes).
  8. Let the cake cool to room temperature, refrigerate for about 2 or more hours before serving or up to 24 hours.
  9. Serves with crème fraiche or unsweetened whipped cream. 

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box August 11th, 2022

Weekly Farmers Market Box at Specialty Produce

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Lamb Stuffed Rosa Bianca Eggplant

Serves 4

One pound Rosa Bianca Eggplant
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 pound ground lamb (you can sub in ground turkey, pork, or chicken)
Salt and pepper
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with some olive oil.
  2. Cut the eggplants in half vertically and scoop out the flesh leaving 1/2-inch all the way around chop the flesh and set aside.   
  3. Cut a small slice from the bottom of the eggplant so that they won’t tip over in the baking pan. 
  4. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil, sauté the onion, garlic, oregano, and zest until the onion begins to turn golden brown. 
  5. Add the eggplant flesh, and sauté another 3 to 4 minutes until the eggplant is tender. 
  6. Add the lamb and cook until the lamb is no longer pink.  Season well with salt and pepper.  When the mixture has cooled a bit, fold in the feta. 
  7. Put the eggplant shells into the baking dish and paint the inside of the shells with the remaining olive oil. 
  8. Stuff the eggplant with the lamb mixture and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the eggplants are softened, and the stuffing is bubbling.  Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Pasta alla Norma

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound penne or rigatoni, cooked 3 minutes short of al dente, saving some of the hot pasta water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 pound eggplant, stem and root ends removed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes and their juice
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
Salt and pepper
1 cup crumbled ricotta salata

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, sauté the garlic, red pepper, and onion for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion begins to soften. 
  2. Add the eggplant and cook until the eggplant is golden brown. 
  3. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the basil, and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to coat.  Add 1/2 of the ricotta and toss again.
  6. Serve garnished with the remaining ricotta. 

Grilled Eggplant with Herb Vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 6

One pound eggplant, stem and root ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

  1. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Arrange eggplant slices on baking sheet. Brush both sides with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until slightly charred and tender, turning occasionally and moving to cook evenly, about 5 minutes.  Arrange the slices on a serving platter.  Drizzle with your favorite dressing or the basil vinaigrette. 

Basil Vinaigrette


1 garlic clove
1 cup packed basil leaves (coarsely chopped)
2 tablespoons finely chopped red torpedo onion
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons white vinegar
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Pecorino Romano for garnish

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the ingredients, except for the cheese, and process/blend until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.  The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  It’s great as a drizzle over grilled meats, poultry, and vegetables. 

Nectarine Galette

Serves 6

One pie crust measuring 12-inches across, either store bought or home made
1/2 pound nectarines, cut into wedges and pitted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon or orange juice
2 tablespoons butter cut into tiny pieces
1 large egg beaten
Raw sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone or parchment paper. 
  2. Roll out the dough into 1 12-inch circle and transfer to the baking sheet. 
  3. In a bowl, combine the nectarines with the sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon and lemon or orange juice. 
  4. Arrange the fruit onto the pastry crust, leaving a 2 inch border all the way around. 
  5. Fold the edge of the dough up and over the nectarines, pleating the dough loosely and leaving the galette uncovered in the center. Dot with the butter.
  6. Brush the dough with the egg, and sprinkle with the sugar.
  7. Bake the galette until the crust is golden brown and the nectarines are tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the galette cool for 20 minutes before serving.  Serve with ice cream, unsweetened whipped cream, or a dollop of crème fraiche. 

Grilled Nectarine and Buratta Salad

Serves 4

1/2 pound nectarines, halved and pitted
Raw sugar
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 cups field greens, washed and spun dry
1 cup thinly sliced cucumbers
1 to 2 thin slices red onion
8 ounces buratta, torn

  1. Preheat the barbecue or a grill pan, and brush with vegetable oil.
  2. Dip the cut side of the nectarines into the raw sugar, and grill until the cut side is golden brown, and the nectarine is softened.  Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, orange juice, and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Put the greens, cucumbers, and red onion into a salad bowl, and toss to coat with the dressing.
  5. Plate the salad, place a nectarine onto the salad, and put the buratta onto the nectarine.  Drizzle with the dressing and serve. 

Kale Caesar

Serves 4

A make ahead salad; store in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, or up to 6 hours.

1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Greek Style yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Salt and pepper
2 cups garlic croutons, homemade or store bought

  1. Fill a large bowl with warm water and soak the kale in the water to soften. Drain and spin dry in a salad spinner.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, Worcestershire, mustard, garlic, 1/4 cup Parmigiano and zest. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Dress the kale leaves with some of the dressing and toss to coat. Refrigerate the salad for at least 20 minutes, or up to 6 hours. Toss in the remaining Parmigiano and the croutons and serve.

Tuscan Minestrone

Serves 6

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for garnish
1/2 cup finely chopped red onions
1 teaspoon dried sage or thyme
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped gold bar squash
1/2 pound shelled Dragon’s Tongue beans
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, and chopped
Rind from Parmigiano Reggiano, chopped (optional)
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup orzo or small pasta like ditali
Salt and pepper

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil add the onions and sage, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until the onions are softened.
  2. Add the carrots, squash, beans, and kale, tossing to coat with the oil.
  3. Add the Parmigiano rinds if using, and the broth.
  4. Cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until the kale and beans are tender.
  5. Add the pasta, and simmer, uncovered for 6 to 8 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Corn Dip

Serves 4 to 6

2 cups corn kernels cut from the cob
2 1/2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
5 scallions, thinly sliced
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Few drops Sriracha
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Tortilla chips, pita chips, or crudités for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the corn, cheese, scallions, mayonnaise, sugar, soy sauce, Sriracha, and pepper.  Transfer to the baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown. 
  3. Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips or crudites. 

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Serves 4

2 Anaheim chili peppers
2 cups bicolor corn cut from the cob
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 cup carrots, finely chopped
1 orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice
Salt and pepper
Cilantro sprigs for garnish

  1. Preheat the broiler and broil the chilies until they are blistered on all sides. Cool, slip off the skins, remove the seeds and stem end, and put in a blender or food processor.
  2. In a salad bowl, combine the corn, onion, carrots, chile, cilantro and cheese.
  3. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, and lime juice to the food processor, and puree with the chilies.
  4. Pour over the salad and toss to coat. Serve garnished with cilantro sprigs.

Kale and Corn Gratin

Serves 4 to 6

A great side dish to serve with grilled entrees, it can be served right out of the oven, or at room temperature.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
One 1/2-inch thick pancetta, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
Salt and pepper
2 cups corn, either fresh cut from the cob, or frozen and defrosted
4 large eggs
½ cup milk
1/2 cup finely shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, coat the inside of a 2-quart gratin dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil add the pancetta, and sauté till the pancetta is crisp.
  3. Add the onion and garlic, sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, add the kale, and sauté till the kale is wilted. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Add the corn and toss to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Pour over the chard mixture.
  5. Sprinkle with the cheeses, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the eggs are set.
  6. Remove from the oven, and allow to rest for 5 minutes, before serving.

Curried Carrot Soup

Serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon sweet curry powder
1 bunch carrots, scraped, and cut into 1-inch lengths
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
Salt and pepper

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the butter, and sauté the onion and curry powder for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. 
  2. Add the carrots and broth.  Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the carrots are tender. 
  3. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup.  Add the cream, and parsley.  Taste for seasoning and adjust using salt or pepper.  Serve the soup warm. 

Roasted Honey Carrots

Serves 4

1 bunch carrots, tops removed, scrubbed/peeled, cut into quarters
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon (or more) ground cumin
Few drops Sriracha
Carrot tops

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment, aluminum foil or silicone.
  2. In a bowl, combine the carrots, honey, cumin and Sriracha. 
  3. Lay on the baking sheet in one layer and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. 
  4. Wash the carrot tops and spin dry, chop a few and sprinkle them over the roasted carrots for garnish. 
  5. Carrot tops can also be made into a pesto. 

Orange Shrimp with Basil

Serves 4

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons or dry vermouth
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
Orange slices for garnish

  1. In a large skillet over high heat melt the butter and oil.  Add the garlic and cook until the garlic starts to sizzle, about 15 seconds.
  2. Add the shrimp and sauté until it just starts to lose its raw color, 2 to 3 minutes, sprinkling lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Add the orange juice and vermouth and bring to a boil.   Simmer 1 minute. 
  3. Add the basil and toss to combine. 
  4. Serve garnished with orange slices over rice, pasta, or farro. 

Roasted Orange Chicken

Serves 4 to 6

8 boneless chicken breasts (skin on)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water or orange juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Valencia oranges, sliced into 1/2-inch half moons
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Sprinkle the chicken with thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper. 
  3. In a large oven proof skillet, or Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter, add the garlic and onion, and sauté for 1 minute.  Brown the chicken skin side down, turn and brown on the other side. 
  4. Add the juice, broth, honey, and rosemary.  Bring to a boil, and transfer to the oven.  Roast for 15 minutes until an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 160 degrees. 
  5. Remove the chicken from the sauce and cover with aluminum foil.
  6. Bring the sauce to a boil, add the cornstarch mixture, and bring to a boil. 
  7. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, add the orange slices, and parsley.  Remove the thyme sprigs.
  8. Pour over the chicken on the platter and serve. 

Margaritaville Grilled Chicken

Serves 6 to 8

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup gold tequila
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, tenders removed (use for another purpose)
1 or 2 oranges, thinly sliced and any seeds removed, for garnish

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the oil, juices, tequila, cumin, chipotle, and cilantro and process until smooth.
  2. Put the chicken in a zipper-top plastic bag, pour in the marinade, seal the bag, and turn the chicken to coat.
  3. Do-Ahead: At this point, refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
  4. Build a hot charcoal fire preheat a gas grill, or grill pan, or the broiler for 10 minutes. Drain the chicken and pat dry. Grill or broil on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or a silicone liner until cooked through and golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
  5. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving. 

Cucumber Margarita

Makes 4

2 cups water
2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups fresh basil leaves; more for garnish
1 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped cucumber
3 tablespoons flaky salt
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
4 ounces tequila
4 ounces fresh lime juice
2 ounce Grand Marnier

  1. Combine the water, 2 cups of the sugar, basil, and cucumber slices, and steep for 30 minutes. Strain and chill.
  2. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and zest in a shallow bowl or plate. Lightly moisten the rims of two large margarita glasses. Dip each glass in the sugar mixture.
  3. Add the tequila, 4 ounces of the simple syrup, the lime juice, and Grand Marnier to a blender, fill with ice and blend.
  4. Fill the prepared glasses with ice. Divide the margarita mixture between the glasses, and garnish each with a cucumber slice and a basil sprig.

Cucumber Salad

Serves 4 to 6

2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced very thin
1 tablespoon salt
1 small yellow onion, sliced very thin
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons snipped fresh dill

  1. Put the cucumbers into a colander and toss with the salt.  Let sit for 15 minutes. 
  2. Rinse off the salt and put the cucumbers into a bowl with the onion.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, red pepper, sugar, pepper, and dill. 
  4. Pour over the cucumbers and onion and toss to coat. 
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. 

Gold Bar Squash Carbonara

Serves 4 to 6

6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 pound gold bar squash (about 3 medium), halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil; more for serving
8 ounces whole milk ricotta, at room temperature
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound linguine, cooked 3 minutes short of al dente
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for garnish

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Leaving the bacon in the skillet, pour off all but 1 Tablespoon of the fat.
  2. Add 2 Tablespoons of the oil and the onion and cook until it just begins to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add the squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and tender, about 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the basil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
  4. Mix the ricotta and the remaining 1 Tbs. oil in a medium bowl. Season well with pepper.
  5. When the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water.  Add to the squash mixture in the skillet and toss with the ricotta and Parmigiano.  Add some pasta water if needed for a creamy sauce. Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with additional basil and Parmigiano.

Fritters

Serves 6

2 gold bar squash, ends trimmed, and coarsely shredded
Salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Oil for frying

  1. Put the squash into a colander, and sprinkle with salt.  Set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. In another bowl, combine the garlic, onion, egg, flour, Parmigiano, and pepper.
  3. Squeeze the moisture out of the squash and add to the bowl.  Stir until blended.
  4. Heat 1/4-inch of oil in a non-stick pan.
  5. Drop the batter by tablespoons into the oil, and fry until golden brown on one side.  Turn and fry until the second side is golden brown.  Remove to paper towels and drain.  Serve warm. 

Tuscan Style Dragon Tongue Beans

Serves 4

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
1/2 pound dragon tongue beans shelled
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the garlic, red pepper flakes and rosemary. 
  2. Sauté over medium low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is fragrant.
  3. Add the beans and broth, and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes covered, until the beans are creamy and tender. 
  4. Season with salt and pepper, and serve the beans garnished with additional olive oil and cracked black pepper. 

Sugar Dragon Fruit Lemonade

Serves 4 to 6

2 sugar dragon fruits peeled, and cut into chunks
5 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4-6 lemons)

  1. In a blender, combine the dragon fruit, water, and sugar. 
  2. Pour the mixture into a 2 quart pitcher, add the lemon juice, and stir to blend.  Add more lemon or sugar to the lemonade as needed.  Store in the refrigerator and serve over ice.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box August 4th, 2022

Weekly Farmers Market Box at Specialty Produce

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Japanese Sweet Potato Curry

Serves 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet curry powder
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 bay leaf
2 Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cups Japanese sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon Garma Masala
Steamed rice for serving

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, and sauté the curry powder, onion and flour until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, honey, soy sauce, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, and sweet potatoes, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the vegetables are just softened. Stir in the Garma Masala and simmer another 5 minutes. Serve the curry over steamed rice.

Miso Maple Glazed Roots

Serves 4

1/3 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons white miso
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 bunch carrots, tops removed and scrubbed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound Japanese sweet potatoes, scrubbed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup sesame seeds for garnish
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil, or parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the syrup, miso, rice vinegar, soy, and oil.
  3. Add the potatoes and carrots to the bowl and toss to coat thoroughly.
  4. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet, cover the sheet with aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes, remove the foil, and roast another 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through, and they become golden brown.
  5. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before transferring with all the juices to a serving bowl. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.
  6. Do-Ahead: You can roast these ahead, and then re-warm in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Mediterranean Green Bean Salad

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 pound blue lake green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, and cook the beans for 3 minutes, they will still be crisp. Drain thoroughly and put into a salad bowl.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the vinegar, shallot, dill, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss the warm beans with the dressing. When ready to serve toss in the feta and serve.

Tangerine Pudding Cake

Serves 6

This simple dessert makes its own sauce. As the cake cooks, it separates into cake on the top and sauce on the bottom. You can use any citrus that you love, this one is my favorite.

3 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup tangerine juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated tangerine zest
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Powdered sugar for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Beat egg whites in bowl at high speed until foamy. Continue beating, gradually adding 1/4 cup sugar, until glossy and stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  3. Combine the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and butter in another bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy.
  4. Add egg yolks, juice, and zest; continue beating until well mixed.
  5. Fold in the flour and salt. Beat at low speed until well mixed. Stir in milk. Gently fold in beaten egg whites.
  6. Pour mixture into the prepared pan, bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown. Remove casserole dish from the oven, and cool 10 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Green Beans Nicoise

Serves 4

1/2 pound green beans, ends snipped, and cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pitted, chopped Kalamata olives for garnish

  1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, and simmer the beans for 3 to 4 minutes, until crisp-tender.
  2. Drain and toss with salt and pepper.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the juice, garlic, chives, mustard, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss the beans with the dressing, and garnish with the olives. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Deep Fried Green Beans

Serves 4

1 cup beer
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed
Fleur de Sel for finishing

  1. Preheat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the beer, flour, salt, and pepper.
  3. Dip the green beans into the batter, letting any excess drain off.
  4. Deep fry the green beans until golden brown. Serve sprinkled with Fleur de Sel.
  5. These are delicious served with a garlic aioli or fresh herb ranch dressing.

Loaded Crookneck Squash Casserole

Serves 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound yellow squash, ends trimmed, and cut into small dice
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (optional but so delicious)
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 13-by-9inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil, sauté the onion and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes to soften the onion.
  3. Add the squash, season with salt and pepper, and cover to steam the squash. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the squash is softened.
  4. Transfer the contents of the skillet, to a large bowl, mash the squash with the sour cream and 1/12 cups of cheese. Stir in the bacon (if using) and season again with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer the mash to the prepared baking dish.
  6. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parsley, remaining cheese, and olive oil. Sprinkle over the casserole.
  7. Do-Ahead: At this point the casserole can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
  8. Bring to room temperature before baking for 25 to 35 minutes until the casserole is bubbling and the crumble topping is golden brown.

Creamy Crookneck Squash Soup

Serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups finely diced sweet yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound crookneck squash, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup corn kernels cut from the cob, or frozen and defrosted
Salt and pepper
3 ounces Humboldt Fog cheese
2 tablespoons finely sliced basil leaves

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the butter, and sauté the onion and garlic together until the onion is translucent. Add the squash and toss in the mixture. Slowly add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the squash is cooked, and soft.
  2. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup.
  3. Add the corn kernels and simmer another 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the soup in shallow bowls, float a piece of cheese on the top and garnish with the basil leaves.

Emerald Drop Pluot Upside Down Cake

Serves 6 to 8

For the Pluots

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 pound emerald drop pluots, pitted and cut into thin wedges

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In an oven-proof 10-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add the brown sugar, lemon juice and salt, and whisk until the brown sugar melts, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Let cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to smell like caramel and darkens slightly, about 1 minute longer. The mixture will clump and separate, but that’s OK.
  5. Add fruit, gently tossing to coat with the caramel. Remove from the heat and arrange fruit into an even layer on the bottom of the skillet. Ignore any sugar clumps; they will dissolve during baking.

For the Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract
1 teaspoon finely grated tangerine zest
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and zest until thoroughly combined.
  2. Whisk in eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add sour cream and whisk until well mixed.
  4. Sprinkle in baking powder, salt, and baking soda into the batter, one at a time, whisking vigorously after each addition.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in flour until just incorporated. The mixture will be lumpy, but that’s OK. Don’t overmix. Scrape batter into the skillet over the fruit and spread evenly.
  6. Bake until surface is deeply browned all over (with darker brown edges) and the fruit is lightly bubbling around the sides of the skillet, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  7. A toothpick inserted into cake will come out clean.
  8. Once the cake is out of the oven, immediately run a butter knife or offset spatula around the edge of the skillet. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes to cool slightly.
  9. Carefully invert cake into serving platter. If some fruit sticks to bottom of skillet, gently remove using offset spatula or knife and place back onto cake.
  10. Let cake cool until the fruit topping sets, at least 30 minutes to 1 hour, before serving. Cake is best served on the day it is baked. Serve with ice cream, or unsweetened whipped cream.

Pluot Crumble

Serves 6

4 Pluots, pitted, and sliced into wedges
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 ½ cups oatmeal
½ cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F, coat the inside of a 9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the pluots with the sugar, and cornstarch, toss to combine.
  2. Transfer the pluots to the prepared pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the oatmeal, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar with a fork. Crumble this mixture evenly over the pluots.
  4. Bake at 350*F for 40-45 minutes, until the crumbled is golden, and the fruit is bubbling.
  5. Serve the crumble with vanilla ice cream.

Roasted Eggplant Marinara with Buratta and Ricotta

Serves 4

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
One 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes in puree
1/2 cup finely chopped basil leaves
salt and black pepper
1 pound fairy tale eggplant, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 ounces buratta, torn into pieces
4 ounces whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup chopped capers

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and red pepper flakes, cook until onions start to turn golden, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.
  4. Pour in the tomatoes, and 1/2 cup water.
  5. Add half the basil leaves, season with salt and black pepper to taste then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone.
  7. Arrange the eggplant in an even layer the baking sheet. Toss eggplant thoroughly with remaining 4 tablespoons oil, then season with salt.
  8. Roast the eggplant for 10 minutes, turn and roast another 20 minutes until the eggplant is golden brown.
  9. Add the eggplant to the tomato sauce, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  10. In a medium bowl, fold together burrata and ricotta.
  11. Transfer the eggplant and sauce to pasta bowls, and spoon burrata mixture on top. Garnish with remaining basil leaves, and the capers.

Miso Glazed Eggplant

Serves 4

3 tablespoons miso paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 pound fairy tale eggplant, stem ends removed, and quartered lengthwise
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment, silicone, or aluminum foil.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the miso, brown sugar, vinegar, soy, garlic, and ginger.
  3. Add the eggplant to the bowl and stir to coat.
  4. Spread the eggplant and any excess marinade onto the baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the eggplant is golden brown and tender.
  5. Remove from the oven, transfer to a serving bowl, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Quick Pickled Carrots

Serves 4

1 bunch carrots, tops removed, peeled, and cut into 4 by 1/2-inch sticks
5 sprigs fresh tarragon
1 1/4 cups seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

  1. Place carrots and tarragon upright in 1-quart glass jar with tight-fitting lid.
  2. Combine vinegar, water, garlic, peppercorns, and mustard seeds in small saucepan and bring to boil. Pour brine into jar, making sure all vegetables are submerged. Let cool completely.
  3. Affix jar lid and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Pickles will keep, refrigerated, for at least 1 week.

Shanghai Pork with Bok Choy Slaw

Serves 6

For the Pork

One 6 pound boneless pork shoulder
1 cup white sugar
1 cup salt
7 tablespoons brown sugar

  1. Put the pork onto a cutting board. In a bowl, combine the sugar, salt, and brown sugar, and rub all over the meat. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Put the meat into a slow cooker (or alternatively preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and roast for 6 hours) and cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 10 hours, until the pork is fork tender.
  3. Remove from the slow cooker and measure out 2 cups of the broth skimming off any fat.
  4. Remove the fat from the meat, and shred, covering with aluminum foil.

For the Sauce

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 ½ cups thinly sliced onion
½ cup peeled, minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
2 cups pork juice
1/4 cup hoisin sauce

  1. In a saucepan, heat the oil, sauté the onion, ginger, and garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, pork juice, and hoisin sauce.
  2. Simmer for 10 minutes, until thickened. Taste for seasoning and adjust using more soy sauce.

For the Slaw

1 pound li Ren bok choy, washed, spun dry, root end trimmed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, scraped and julienned
2 tangerines, peeled, segmented, and chopped
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup tangerine juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds for garnish

  1. In a salad bowl, combine the bok choy, onions, carrots, and tangerines.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, tangerine juice, and vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss with the slaw, and garnish with toasted sesame seeds. The slaw will keep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

To Serve

Ten to twelve 6-inch flour tortillas
Shredded pork
Sauce
Slaw

  1. Heat the tortillas, and fill with pork, some sauce, and slaw, wrapping the tortilla around the filling.
  2. Any leftover pork and sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 6 months.

Asian Noodle Soup with Chicken and Bok Choy

Serves 6

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 pound li ren bok choy, root end and tough ends removed, washed, spun dry and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons, using the leafy parts
2 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
8 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons white miso (optional)
1/2 pound linguine cooked al dente
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil for garnish
1/2 cup finely chopped torpedo onion, using the red and tender green parts

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, add the garlic and ginger, and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  2. Add the bok choy, and sauté in the oil for 3 to 4 minutes until the bok choy begins to wilt. Add the chicken, broth, miso if using, linguine and soy sauce.
  3. Simmer the soup for 20 to 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked, and the bok choy is tender.
  4. Serve the soup garnished with drizzle of sesame oil, and some chopped torpedo onions.

Soy Glazed Baby Bok Choy

Serves 2 to 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce or Tamari
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 pound Li Ren bok choy, root end trimmed, and cut into 1-inch ribbons
2 teaspoons sesame seeds for garnish
Toasted sesame oil for garnish

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the garlic and ginger, and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the soy sauce, and broth, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the bok choy, and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, turning to coat evenly with the glaze.
  3. Serve warm sprinkled with sesame seeds and drizzled with sesame oil.

Picnic Bean Salad

Serves 4

1/2 pound shelled coco beans
1/2 pound blue lake green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped using the leaves
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, add the coco beans, and cook for 20 minutes until just tender. Drain thoroughly but keep the boiling water.
  2. Add the green beans to the same boiling water and cook 3 minutes. Drain and cool.
  3. When the beans are cool, combine them in a large bowl, with the onion, red bell pepper, and celery.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, oil, garlic, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour the dressing over the beans and vegetables and toss to coat. Serve the salad cold or at room temperature.

Coco Bean Soup

Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped rainbow carrots
2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1/2 pound shelled coco beans
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, add the pancetta, and cook until crisp.
  2. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and rosemary. Sauté until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the beans and broth, and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes until the beans are tender.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and serve drizzled with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.

Blueberry Grape Cheesecake Bars

Serves 6 to 8

For the Topping

4 cups blueberry grapes, washed, and stems removed
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

  1. Cook the grapes in a saucepan 5-8 minutes, stirring and mashing frequently with a spoon.
  2. Once your mixture is almost completely mashed and resembles jam, remove from heat.
  3. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the mixture into a small bowl, pressing down with a wooden spoon to get the most liquid and pulp as possible.
  4. Once you have about 1/2 cup set aside to cool and discard the skins and seeds.

For the Cheesecake Bars

Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 18 whole crackers)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar

  1. To make the crust, in a large bowl, combine the crust ingredients and press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Set aside.

For the Cream Cheese Filling

Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese softened
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup grape syrup (above)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, using with an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat until the filling is smooth. Pour into the crust, dollop the filling with some of the grape mixture and swirl it through the filling, like marbling. Bake until set, 35 to 40 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and immediately cut into squares. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before serving. Cheesecake is best at room temperature. To store the cheesecake, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Blueberry Grapes

Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
One 1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound blueberry grapes
1/2 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or dry vermouth)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400. In a large oven proof skillet, heat the oil, and brown the pork on all sides, seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside on a plate covered with aluminum foil.
  2. Add the onion and thyme sprigs, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the grapes, and sauté for another 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add the pork back into the skillet and roast for 15 to 17 minutes, until an instant read meat thermometer reads 140 degrees.
  3. Remove the Pork from the skillet, and cover with aluminum foil to rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Put the sauce onto the stove top and bring to a boil. Mix the cornstarch with some of the liquid from the sauce and bring to a boil.
  5. Thinly slice the meat and nap with some of the sauce.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box July 28th, 2022

Weekly Farmers Market Box at Specialty Produce

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Street Corn Pasta Salad

Serves 6

For the Dressing

1 cup sour cream or Greek Style Yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients, cover and refrigerate.

For the Salad

1 pound elbow pasta, cooked 2 minutes short of al dente
1 cup white corn, cut from the cob
1 cup finely chopped Jimmy Nardelli peppers (if you don’t have them, sub in one red bell pepper)
1 cup diced mixed summer squash
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 cups crumbled cotija cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
Salt and pepper

  1. In a large bowl, combine the semi-cooled pasta, corn, peppers, squash, onion, cheese, and cilantro.
  2. Toss with the dressing, and taste for seasoning, adjusting with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving.

Chipotle Corn Dip

Serves 8 to 10

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Chipotle chili powder
1/2 cup diced tomato
2 cups corn removed from the cob
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  1. Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet and sauté the onion, garlic, cumin, and Chipotle powder for 2 to 3 minutes, or until you can smell the spices, and the onion, begins to soften.
  2. Add the tomato and corn and toss once or twice to coat with the onion mixture.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Allow the mixture to cool.
  4. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, and cheeses, stirring to blend.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Remove from the refrigerator, garnish with cilantro, and serve with tortilla chips and fresh vegetables for dipping.

Salad Nicoise

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 pound yellow beans, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound Yukon gold or red bliss potatoes, scrubbed (any high starch potato will do here, just no russets)
3 large eggs
3 scallions (white and tender green parts), finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 head flashy trout lettuce, washed and spun dry
One 6 to 7-ounce can Italian tuna in olive oil
4 medium vine ripened tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup Nicoise olives, pitted, and chopped

  1. Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil, boil the beans for 3 minutes, and remove, season with salt and pepper. KEEP THE BOILING WATER.
  2. Add the potatoes to the water, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the water and cool.
  3. Add the eggs to the water, and when the water comes to a boil, remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Put the eggs into an ice bath to stop the cooking and peel under cold water. Cut the eggs into quarters and set aside.
  4. In a bowl, combine the scallions, parsley, basil, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper until blended.
  5. Toss the beans with some of the dressing and set aside.
  6. Cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces and toss with some dressing. Set aside.
  7. To assemble the salad, lay the lettuce onto a large serving platter, top with the potatoes and beans. Arrange eggs, tuna, tomatoes, and olives on top of the potatoes and beans. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve at room temperature.

Swiss Beans

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 pound yellow beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded Gruyere cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a gratin dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Bring 4 quarts salted water to a boil and cook the beans for 3 minutes. Drain thoroughly, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a saucepan, stir 2 tablespoons butter, flour, onion, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan over medium heat; gradually stir in sour cream. Cook and stir mixture until hot, thickened, and smooth, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add steamed green beans to the cream mixture.
  5. Pour green bean-cream mixture into the prepared casserole dish, sprinkle with Swiss cheese.
  6. Bake until cheese is bubbling, and topping is browned, about 20 minutes.

Tangerine Muffins

Makes 12

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Greek style yogurt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup diced peeled tangerine
1 tablespoon grated tangerine peel

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line 12 muffin tins with paper liners, or coat the inside and tops of the muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, egg, butter, and milk until smooth. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in tangerine and peel.
  4. Fill muffin tins two-thirds full. Bake at 400° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

Tangerine Chipotle Chicken Wings

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 Chipotle chilies in adobo, finely chopped
1/3 cup tangerine juice
1 teaspoons grated tangerine zest
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup chicken broth
3 pounds chicken wings or drummettes
3 tangerines, peeled and separated into segments, for garnish
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro or Italian parsley for garnish

  1. In a sauté pan, heat the oil, sauté the onion and chipotle for 2 minutes. Stir in the tangerine juice, zest, ketchup, and broth. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and cool.
  2. When the sauce is cooled, pour it into a large zip-lock bag, add the drummettes, seal the bag, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, transfer the wings, and sauce to a baking dish and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, turning once, basting with the sauce, until the wings are glazed and cooked through (165 degrees on an instant read thermometer) Serve the wings garnished with tangerine segments and chopped cilantro.

Greens and Beans Soup

Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound bulk Italian sweet sausage (or not, it’s not necessary, but adds lots of flavor or use finely diced pancetta)
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, finely chopped
6 leaves sage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped canned plum tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1 bunch rainbow chard, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
One 14.5-ounce can small white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped Parmigiano Reggiano rinds
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
1 cup finely shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for garnish

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, and sauté the sausage, onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and sage until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the tomatoes and wine and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the chard, beans, Parmigiano rinds, and broth. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 1 hour until the chard is tender.
  4. Taste for seasoning and adjust using salt and pepper.
  5. Serve the soup drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with Parmigiano.

Crostini with Sautéed Greens and Fresh Buratta

Serves 8

For the Bruschetta

1 baguette, sliced 1/2-inch thick
Olive oil
2 garlic cloves

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and arrange the bread on baking sheets lined with a silicone baking liner, or parchment paper.
  2. Drizzle oil over the slices and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the bread is crisp. When the crostini are crisp, rub with the garlic clove. Allow to cool.
  3. Do-Ahead: The bruschetta can be kept in zip lock bags overnight, or frozen for up to 1 month.

To Prepare the Bruschetta

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
Red pepper flakes
1 bunch rainbow chard, washed, any woody stems trimmed, and chopped
Juice and zest of a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces burratta or fresh mozzarella cheese
Fleur de Sel

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil and sauté the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes, until translucent. Add the red pepper flakes, and chard, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. When the chard is soft and tender, turn off the heat, add the lemon juice and zest, and gently toss. The chard can be room temperature when served.
  2. Spoon the chard over the toasts. Cut the burrata and place on top of each toast, cut side up. Sprinkle with fleur de Sel and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. You will have to prepare this just before serving but have the greens ready and cut the buratta. Serve with small plates to catch any drips.

Roasted Summer Squash with Lemon and Feta

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound mixed summer squash
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup very finely chopped mint, plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese (more or less to taste)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone.
  2. Cut each squash into quarters lengthwise, then cut into pieces about 2 inches long.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, mint, salt, and pepper.
  4. Toss the squash with the marinade and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  5. Arrange squash on baking sheet in a single layer.
  6. Roast the squash for 30 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time.
  7. Transfer the squash to a serving dish, and sprinkle with the Feta and any excess mint.

Pasta Carbonara with Summer Squash

Serves 6

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound summer squash, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
5 large egg yolks
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
1 pound spaghetti, or buccatini

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, sauté the garlic and zucchini until the zucchini begins to color, and loses some of its liquid. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, the cheese, and half the pepper. Set aside at room temperature.
  3. Bring 8-quarts of salted water to boil in a pasta pentola and cook the pasta 2 to 3 minutes short of al dente.
  4. When the pasta is cooked, heat the skillet with the zucchini, drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta liquid, and add the pasta to the skillet tossing to blend.
  5. Take the skillet off the heat, and add the egg and cheese mixture, adding more pasta water to make a creamy sauce. Taste the pasta and add more pepper if desired and serve.

Zucchini Chard Tortilla Bake

Serves 6

Feel free to add protein to this: leftover rotisserie chicken, cooked seafood, or leftover pork.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch red chard, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cups finely chopped onion
2 chipotle chilies in adobo, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped rainbow carrots
2 cups chopped zucchini mix
Salt and pepper
Twelve 6-inch corn tortillas
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro or Italian parsley

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a skillet, heat the oil, swirl the garlic for 30 seconds, add the chard, and toss in the garlic oil, and season with salt and pepper until the chard is wilted. Transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool.
  3. Wipe out the skillet, melt 1/4 cup of the butter, and sauté the onion and chipotle for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion is softened. Add the carrots and zucchini, season with salt and pepper and sauté until the vegetables are crisp/tender. Transfer to the bowl with the chard.
  4. Tear the tortillas and put into the bowl.
  5. Wipe out the skillet and melt the remaining butter. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Gradually add the broth and cream. Bring to a boil whisking until smooth.
  6. Remove the sauce from the heat, add 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar and 1/2 cup of the Monterey Jack.
  7. Stir in the cilantro, and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and tortillas in the bowl.
  8. Stir to blend.
  9. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining cheeses. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Zucchini Chocolate Cake

Makes 1 bundt cake

Any summer squash will work in this recipe.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated zucchini (about 4 medium)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the large bowl of an electric mixer cream together the butter, oil, and sugar, until the mixture is blended—it may look curdled.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla, and sour cream, and stir until combined. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on low speed until blended. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan; bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack and time for 10 minutes.
  5. At the end of the 10 minutes, remove the cake from the pan, and allow to cool completely. Serve the cake garnished with sifted powdered sugar.

Broccoli Tots

Serves 6

1 bunch broccoli, stems removed, and cut into florets
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, or Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup finely chopped red torpedo onions, using the red part only
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone.
  2. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, add the broccoli, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly and cool.
  3. Put the broccoli, panko, eggs, cheese, onion, and garlic into a boil, and stir to combine.
  4. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls and arrange on the baking sheet. Brush with olive oil, and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the tots are golden brown. Serve warm.

Curried Chicken and Broccoli

Serves 6

1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6 chicken breasts, skin and bones removed
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sweet curry powder
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  1. Coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, and blanch the broccoli for 3 minutes, drain thoroughly, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in the bottom of the baking dish.
  3. Melt 1 teaspoon butter with the oil in a skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on both sides (it may not be cooked through, which is fine).
  4. Lay the chicken over the broccoli.
  5. In the same skillet, melt the remaining butter, whisk in the flour, and curry powder, and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the cream, if using, and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and broccoli. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. At this point the casserole can be refrigerated overnight.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the casserole for 30 to 40 minutes until the casserole is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown.

Crispy Cheesy Roasted Broccoli

Serves 4 to 6

1 head broccoli, tough stems removed, and cut into florets
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/3 cup panko

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone.
  2. Put the broccoli, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder into a bowl, and toss to coat with the oil.
  3. Add the Parmigiano, and panko and toss to coat.
  4. Arrange the florets onto the baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the broccoli is golden brown and crispy. Serve warm.

Eggplant and Yellow Bean Stir-Fry

Serves 4

¼ cup vegetable or peanut oil
1/2 pound yellow wax beans (cut into 2-3 inch long pieces)
1 purple eggplant cut into ½” x 2” strips
2 slices ginger cut into julienne
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 red chili pepper, seeded, and finely chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
Steamed rice for serving

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the beans, and sauté until they begin to look wrinkly and slightly crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove them to a plate and set aside.
  2. Using the remaining oil in the pan, do the same with the eggplant, stir frying until the edges turn slightly browned, and the eggplant is tender.
  3. Remove the eggplant from the pan and set aside along with the green beans.
  4. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan, add the ginger, garlic and red chili and swirl in the pan for 30 seconds, till fragrant. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and rice wine, and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the vegetables back into the pan and stir fry another minute or two until the mixture is blended with the vegetables. Serve over steamed rice.

Fusilli with Sicilian Pesto and Eggplant

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound Italian eggplant, stem ends trimmed, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3/4 cup packed fresh basil
2 garlic cloves
1 cup blanched almonds
One 14.5-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup crumbled ricotta salata
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
One pound fusilli, cooked 2 minutes short of al dente, reserving some of the hot pasta water

  1. Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a large skillet and fry the eggplant until it is a deep golden brown. Transfer to paper toweling to drain and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine the basil, garlic, almonds, tomatoes, and ricotta salata.
  3. Pulse on and off to break up the almonds.
  4. With the machine running add olive oil until a paste forms. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Put the pesto into a skillet, add the eggplant and stir to blend over a gentle low heat.
  6. Add the hot pasta to the skillet, and toss to coat, adding some of the hot pasta water if needed.
  7. Serve the pasta garnished with sliced basil and additional ricotta salata.

Roasted Eggplant Salad

Serves 4 to 6

½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 eggplant trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
1/2 pound Jimmy Nardello peppers, finely chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup fresh mint leaves

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment, aluminum foil or silicone. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  2. Toss eggplant with 1/3 cup vinaigrette, reserving the rest.
  3. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake, tossing occasionally, until tender and golden around edges, about 30 minutes. Let eggplant cool somewhat.
  5. Whisk feta, garlic, and capers into reserved vinaigrette.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and mint leaves. Toss with vinaigrette and serve at room temperature.

Tropical Salad with Dragon Fruit

Serves 4

1 dragon fruit, cut in half, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
One head flashy trout lettuce, washed, spun dry and chopped
Two tangerines, peeled and segmented

  1. Put 1/2 of the dragon fruit into a blender, add the orange juice, vinegar, and oil. Puree, season with salt and pepper.
  2. Put the lettuce into a bowl, and drizzle with a bit of the dressing. Toss to coat and plate the salad. Garnish the salad with the tangerines, remaining dragon fruit and drizzle with the some of the remaining dressing.

Bruschetta with Jimmy Nardello Peppers

Serves 4

For the Bruschetta

1 baguette, sliced 1/2-inch thick
Olive oil
2 garlic cloves

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and arrange the bread on baking sheets lined with a silicone baking liner, or parchment paper.
  2. Drizzle oil over the slices and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the bread is crisp. When the crostini are crisp, rub with the garlic clove. Allow to cool.
  3. Do-Ahead: The bruschetta can be kept in zip lock bags overnight, or frozen for up to 1 month.

For the Peppers and Assembly

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound Jimmy Nardello peppers
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
Salt and pepper
Whole milk ricotta cheese (about 1/2 cup)
Aged balsamic vinegar

  1. Slice the peppers in half lengthwise, keeping the seeds.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add peppers to the frying pan. Cook 6-8 minutes, stirring often, until slightly wilted and blistered. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add the garlic and parsley to the peppers and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread the bruschetta with some of the ricotta. Top with peppers, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box July 21st, 2022

Weekly Farmers Market Box at Specialty Produce

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Pan Roasted Salmon over Ratatouille

Serves 6

For the Ratatouille

1 red onion, sliced ½” thick
1/2 pound Italian long peppers, cored and chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 medium eggplant, cut into ½” chunks
2 medium Romanesco squash, trimmed and cut into ¼” thick rounds
One 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes
6 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried herbs de Provence
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
¼ cup finely chopped basil

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the onions, peppers, eggplant, squash, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and herbs de Provence. Season the mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Spread the vegetables into a baking dish (13 x 9”).
  4. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 15 minutes and remove from the oven.

Roasted Salmon

½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
2½ pounds salmon filets
½ cup unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
⅛ teaspoon cayenne
1 lemon, grated zest of
¼ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon paprika

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a shallow dish, combine the oil and Old Bay seasoning.
  2. Dip the filets in the mixture, turning them to coat. Lay the salmon over the partially cooked ratatouille in the baking dish.
  3. In a small skillet, heat the butter; add the garlic, cayenne, and lemon zest. Sauté for 1 minute. Cool, and add the lemon juice and paprika.
  4. Pour ½ the mixture over the salmon, and roast for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. When the salmon is cooked through, (160°F on an instant read meat thermometer) remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve each filet over ratatouille and drizzled with the remaining garlic butter sauce.
  6. Cook’s note:  This recipe also works with other thick fleshed fish such as seabass or halibut.

Eggplant Meatballs

Serves 6

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant, stem end trimmed, and cut in half (about 1 pound) If you have small eggplants, cut them in half lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for cooking the meatballs

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking liner, parchment, or aluminum foil. Brush the cut sides of the eggplant with 2 tablespoons of the oil, and lay the eggplant halves, cut side down. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes until the flesh is completely tender.
  2. Remove from the oven and when the eggplant is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and chop it on a cutting board. Transfer it to a bowl, and add the breadcrumbs, eggs, remaining oil, basil, cheese, parsley, and pepper.
  3. Spread the flour onto a cutting board, and using a portion scoop, form the eggplant into 1-inch balls. Coat them in flour, and then transfer to a baking sheet, while you roll the remaining balls.
  4. Pour enough vegetable oil into a large sauté or skillet to reach a depth of 1-inch and heat to 375 degrees.
  5. Fry the polpette until golden brown, turning them frequently.
  6. Transfer them to a paper towel lined baking sheet and continue to cook the meat-less-balls, until they are all cooked. The meatballs can be added to marinara sauce or served plain as an appetizer.
  7. Cook’s Note: If you would prefer to make these into fritters, form them into 1/2-inch thick patties about 2-inches in diameter and fry in about 1/4-inch of olive oil.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Makes about 3 cups

In the winter when tomatoes aren’t at their peak of ripeness, Italians will roast canned Roma tomatoes with aromatics to intensify and concentrate their flavor. This is a great trick for getting a full flavored sauce, with not so flavorful tomatoes.

Three 28-ouce cans peeled whole Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, crushed
1/2 cup chopped red onion
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a jelly roll pan with a silicone liner, parchment paper, or aluminum foil.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half and put in a large glass bowl. Stir in the olive oil, basil, rosemary, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, being careful not to tear the tomatoes.
  3. Pour onto the prepared pan, spreading it out in a single layer. Bake until the tomato liquid is absorbed, and the tomatoes have firmed up and turn a deep red color, 35 to 45 minutes, checking to make sure that the tomatoes and garlic don’t brown.
  4. Transfer the tomato mixture to blender or food processor, and pulse to break up the tomatoes. Stir in the basil and parsley.
  5. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Romanesco Squash and Pepper Sauté

Serves 4 to 6

Similar to Pepperonata, this sauté is terrific with grilled meats, chicken and seafood.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large red onion, thinly sliced into 1/2 moons
3 cups diced Romanesco squash
1/2 pound Italian long peppers, cored and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 cup tomato puree
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, sauté the garlic in the oil for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  2. Add the onion, and sauté another 2 to 3 minutes until it begins to soften.
  3. Add the squash, and peppers, tossing in the oil. Sauté for 10 minutes turning frequently, until the peppers and squash begin to soften, and the squash has turned golden.
  4. Add the tomato puree, season with salt and pepper and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Serve the sauté warm or at room temperature garnished with grated Parmigiano.

Curried Japanese Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 Japanese sweet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 Romanesco squash, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch chunks
Finely chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
Steamed rice for serving

  1. In a Dutch oven heat the oil, sauté the garlic and curry powder for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the milk, broth, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add the potatoes, and squash, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Serve garnished with cilantro or parsley and serve over steamed rice.

Sausage and Peppers

Serves 4

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 red spring onions, thinly sliced
1/2 pound Italian long peppers, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Italian rolls for serving

  1. Put the sausage into a skillet, add 2 tablespoons of water, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, remove the cover, and cook another 10 to 15 minutes turning the sausages until they are cooked through. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, heat the oil, add the onions, peppers, tomatoes, and oregano, and sauté until the onions begin to turn translucent, and the tomatoes have cooked down. If the mixture looks dry add a few tablespoons of water.
  3. Add the vinegar, and sauté another 5 minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, add the sausages back to the skillet, and heat through.
  4. Serve the sausages and peppers in Italian rolls.

Loaded Mashed Golden Turnips

Serves 4

One bunch golden turnips, peeled and cut into wedges
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sour cream or Greek Style yogurt
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar
6 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Salt and pepper

  1. Put the turnips into salted water to cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the turnips are tender.
  2. Drain thoroughly and turn into a mixing bowl.
  3. Mash the turnips with the butter, sour cream, cheese, scallions, and bacon. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.

Save the Greens Sauté

Serves 4

Turnip greens are a major source of iron, and they taste delicious. Sauté them for a terrific side dish, or to serve on bruschetta with burrata.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 bunch turnip greens, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
Salt and pepper

  1. In a sauté pan, heat the oil, sauté the garlic until it is softened, but not browned.
  2. Add the greens and sauté until wilted.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm or at room temperature.

Kale Salad with Tangerines and Soy Vinaigrette

Serves 4

One bunch kale, washed, spun dry, tough stems removed and chopped
2 tangerines, peeled and separated into segments
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

  1. Put the kale and tangerines into a salad bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ginger, and garlic.
  3. Pour the dressing over the kale and tangerines, tossing to coat.
  4. Plate the salad and garnish with almonds.

Chicken, Orzo, and Kale Soup

Serves 6

This is a great vehicle for using leftover chicken or turkey. Substitute your favorite bean for the white beans if you like.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 bunch kale, washed, spun dry, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
8 cups chicken broth
3 cups cooked shredded chicken
2 cups cooked white beans (or one 14.5-ounce can rinsed and drained)
1/4 cup chopped Parmigiano Reggiano rinds
1 cup orzo
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano for serving

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, add the garlic and lemon zest, swirling in the pan for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the kale and toss to coat.
  3. Add the broth, chicken, white beans, and Parmigiano rinds if using.
  4. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the orzo, simmer another 12 minutes until the orzo is tender
  6. Season with salt and pepper, as needed, and serve garnished with Parmigiano Reggiano.

Tangerine Cheesecake Squares

Serves 6 to 8

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 8-ounce cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon finely shredded tangerine peel
1/3 cup tangerine juice
1 teaspoon vanilla paste, or vanilla extract
Tangerine segments for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a small mixing bowl beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until light and fluffy. Add flour, beating until combined (mixture will be crumbly). Press mixture evenly onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, for filling, in a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in egg, whipping cream, tangerine peel, tangerine juice, and vanilla until combined. Pour filling over crust.
  4. Bake about 30 minutes more or just until filling is set. Cut the squares while still warm, then let cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
  5. Use the tangerine segments to decorate each square.
  6. Bring the squares to room temperature before serving.

Pluot Ricotta Cake

Makes one 9-inch cake

This is a terrific cake to use as a template—try using any soft fruits for this; I’ve used berries, cherries, peaches, plums, pluots, apriums and figs. Change the flavoring from lemon to orange, or almond.

1¼ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup fresh whole milk ricotta
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 pluots, thinly sliced and pitted
2 tablespoons light brown granulated sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, coat the inside of a 9-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each one in.
  3. Next add the ricotta and the sour cream, vanilla and extract and mix well.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients together, then add them to the wet mixture, just folding them in until mixed. Don’t over beat.
  5. Pour the dough into buttered cake tin, and level it out with a spoon. Arrange the pluots on the top of the batter in a decorative pattern on top of the batter. Sprinkle the cake with the sugar and bake for 40 minutes.
  6. Let cool, remove from pan, and serve with whipped cream or crème fraiche.

Emerald Drop Pluot Clafoutis

Serves 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups Emerald Drop Pluots, cut into wedges and pitted
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
Powdered sugar for serving (optional)

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and melt the butter in an ovenproof skillet. (A cast iron skillet is great for this)
  2. Add the pluots to the butter and turn to coat.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a blender or food processor fitted with the blade attachment and process until the batter is smooth, about 20 seconds.
  4. Add the flour, zest, and salt and pulse until just incorporated, 5 to 7 pulses.
  5. Pour the batter over the fruit in the pan.
  6. Bake until set, puffed, and light golden brown around the edges, about 50 minutes.
  7. Cool the skillet on a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes (the clafoutis will deflate).
  8. Dust with powdered sugar if using, cut into wedges or scoop and serve warm.

Spinach, Bacon, and Orzo Pasta Salad

Serves 6

One 12-ounce package orzo, cooked 2 minutes short of al dente
8 strips bacon
1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
8 ounces baby spinach (about 6 packed cups), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces Asiago cheese, diced

  1. Put the cooked orzo into a salad bowl and set aside.
  2. Place the bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until the fat has rendered out and the bacon is crispy, flipping halfway through, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Once cool, break the bacon into small crumbles.
  3. In the same skillet, sauté the shallot and spinach in the bacon drippings, until the spinach is wilted.
  4. Add the vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper and whisk until emulsified.
  5. Add the mixture to the orzo and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, add the cheese, and the crumbled bacon, and season again. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Creamy Avocado Pasta

Serves 6

1 pound linguine or spaghetti, cooked al dente
2 ripe medium avocados halved and pitted
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup lightly packed spinach leaves
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. While the pasta is cooking, scoop the avocado flesh into a blender. Add the basil, spinach, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. With the blender running, drizzle in the olive oil and blend until incorporated.
  2. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Toss the pasta with the sauce, add the tomatoes, and season with black pepper. Garnish each serving with additional Parmigiano Reggiano.

Baked Avocado Boats

Serves 4

2 ripe avocados, halved and pitted
4 large eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the avocados in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish, cut side up.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, pepper, chives, and cheese.
  3. Fill the avocado shells with the egg mixture, top with the bacon, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the eggs are just set. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, before serving.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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