Farmers’ Market Box October 14th, 2021

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Fall Minestrone

Serves 6

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1/2 cup finely chopped red spring onion
2 cups coarsely chopped rainbow carrots
3 ribs celery, coarsely chopped including the leaves
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 leaves sage, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes (either canned or fresh)
1 cup red or white wine
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 bunch rainbow chard, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
2 cups green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups diced zucchini
1/2 pound shelled cranberry beans
Rind from Parmigiano Reggiano (optional) chopped

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, saute the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and sage until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the tomatoes and wine, and simmer for 3 minutes to concentrate the flavor.
  3. Add the broth, chard, beans, zucchini, cranberry beans, and the rind from the Parmigiano.
  4. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours until the beans are tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Green Bean Salad

Serves 4

1/2 pound blue lake green beans, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 spring onions, finely chopped using the red and tender green parts
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

  1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil and boil the beans for 4 minutes until crisp/tender.  Drain thoroughly, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and add the onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, garlic, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour some of the dressing over the beans and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature.

Hungarian Stone Fruit Cake

Serves 6

1 cup sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
 Pinch of salt (optional)
2 large eggs
4 pluots, pitted, and cut into quarters
1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.
  3. Spoon the batter into the pan and place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter.
  4. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar and lemon juice.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cool; serve warm with unsweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Ginger Braised Chicken with Pluots

Serves 6

6 chicken breasts, skin and bones removed
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grated ginger root
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup thinly sliced red spring onion, using the red part
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
3 to 4 pluots, quartered and pitted
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper

  1. Season the chicken with ginger, salt, and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil, and brown the chicken on all sides. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic, and onion to the pan, and saute until the onion is beginning to turn golden.
  3. Add the wine, vinegar, and honey, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and pluots to the pan, and sprinkle with the thyme.
  4. Cover and simmer for 8 minutes, uncover and simmer another 2 to 3 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Arugula Salad with Roasted Delicata Squash

Serves 4

1 delicata squash, cut in half, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 bunch arugula, washed and spun dry
1 red spring onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

  1. Brush the squash with the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes until the squash is softened, and beginning to turn golden brown on the edges.  Remove from the oven.
  2. Put the arugula and onion into a salad bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, vinegar, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Dress the arugula with some of the dressing. Plate the arugula.
  5. Top with the roasted squash, and drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Arugula Pesto

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 bunch arugula, washed and spun dry
1 cup walnuts
2 garlic cloves
1 to 2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon capers in brine, drained
1/2 to 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the arugula, walnuts, garlic, cheese, and capers.
  2. Pulse on and off to break up the nuts and garlic, and to chop the arugula.
  3. With the machine running, slowly pour in the oil and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Vegetable Lasagna

Serves 6 to 8

For the Marinara

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup finely chopped sweet yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 32-ounce can crushed tomatoes with their juice
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar

  1. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the oil, over medium heat, then add the onion and cook, stirring, until it begins to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened, 30 to 45 minutes. Use immediately, or cool, cover and refrigerated for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

For the Vegetable Cream Sauce

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup thinly sliced red spring onion, using the red part only
2 cups finely diced zucchini
1 bunch rainbow chard, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black or white pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, saute the garlic and onion until the onion begins to turn translucent.
  2. Add the zucchini and chard, and saute until the chard is wilted, and the zucchini begins to color.
  3. Transfer to a colander to drain off any excess juices.
  4. In the same skillet,  melt the butter.  When the foam subsides, whisk in the flour. White bubbles will begin to form on the bottom and sides of the pan. Once the bubbles begin to form, cook the roux whisking constantly for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Gradually add the broth, whisking until blended. Add the milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly.
  6. Remove the sauce from the stove and gradually stir in the parsley, cheese, until it melts, add the vegetables, taste the sauce for seasoning and correct with additional salt and pepper, as necessary.

Assembly

One package no-boil lasagna noodles (I use Barill or DeCecco)
Marinara sauce
Vegetable Cream Sauce
8 ounces chopped fresh mozzarella
1 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. Spread a layer of the marinara in the bottom of the baking dish.
  3. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles.
  4. Spread 1/2 of the vegetable cream sauce over the lasagna noodles, and cover with another layer of lasagna noodles.  Spread the remaining cream sauce over the lasagna noodles, and cover with another layer of noodles. Spread with marinara sauce, then top with mozzarella and Parmigiano. At this point, you can cool, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours, or you can freeze for 2 months. Make sure to defrost and bring the baking dish to room temperature before baking.
  5. Cover and bake for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake another 15 minutes until the cheeses are bubbling and golden brown. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before cutting into serving portions.

Honey Roasted Carrots

Serves 4 to 6

One bunch rainbow carrots, scraped and cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Salt and pepper
Fleur de sel

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment, silicone or foil. 
  2. Arrange the carrots in one layer on the baking sheet.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, orange juice, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour over the carrots, and turn the carrots in the sauce.
  5. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until the carrots are tender. Season with fleur de sel, and serve. 

Sicilian Beans

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound blue lake green beans, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch lengths
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup finely chopped red spring onion, using the red and tender green part
1/2 cup red wine
One 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 cup crumbled ricotta salata

  1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, and blanch the green beans for 3 minutes.  Drain thoroughly.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the garlic, oregano, and onion and saute until the onions are wilted.
  3. Add the red wine and bring to a boil to concentrate the flavors.
  4. Add the tomatoes and green beans, and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and serve garnished with ricotta salata. 

Parmesan Crusted Delicata Squash

Serves 4 to 6

One delicata squash, halved, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and arrange the squash on a baking sheet lined with foil, parchment or silicone. 
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, garlic, salt and pepper, Parmigiano, parsley, thyme, and lemon zest.
  3. Pour over the squash on the baking sheet, and turn the squash to coat. 
  4. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned.

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken with Peach BBQ Sauce

Serves 6

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 peaches, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch cayenne
One 14 ounce can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups ketchup
3 tablespoons Worcestershire
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
8 chicken breasts, skin and bones removed
Salt and pepper

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, and saute the onion, peaches, garlic, and cayenne, until the onion and peaches begin to soften.
  2. Transfer to the insert of a 4-6-quart slow cooker, add the tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, Dijon, and brown sugar, stirring to blend.
  3. Stack the chicken breasts in the sauce, spooning some over the top.
  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 6 hours.
  5. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker, using 2 forks, shred the chicken.  Taste the sauce for seasoning, add salt and pepper if necessary. Add the chicken back to the sauce, and keep on the warm setting until ready to serve.  Serve with slaw on Hawaiian sweet rolls.

Peach Cake

Serves 6 to 8

3 ripe peaches, peeled, cored and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon peach nectar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup mascarpone
2 to 3 tablespoons peach nectar

  1. Coat the inside of a springform pan with non-stick cooking spray, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a bowl, combine the pears, lemon juice and pear nectar. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, blend together the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and baking powder.
  4. Fold in the fruit, and bake for 50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing the spring form.
  6. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature garnished with mascarpone.
  7. To make the mascarpone mixture, stir the peach nectar into the mascarpone, until light. Dollop onto each slice of cake.

Tuscan Cranberry Beans

Serves 6

6 cups water broth
1/2 pound shelled cranberry beans
2 fresh sage sprigs
1 bay leaf
8 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
1 to 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil for serving

  1. Put the beans into a Dutch over and cover with the water or broth. Add the sage, bay leaf and garlic, and bring to a boil. Simmer for one hour until the beans are tender. Drain the beans (save the liquid for soup)
  2. And dress the beans with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Zucchini Chocolate Cake

Makes 1 bundt cake

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.

@Diane Phillps Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box October 7th, 2021

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Fall Vegetable Minestrone

Serves 6 to 8

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped purple carrot
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
8 sage leaves, thinly sliced
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 bunch black kale, tough stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (use any leaves too)
1/2 pound dragon tongue beans, shelled
Rinds from Parmigiano Reggiano, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano for serving

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, saute the onion, carrot, celery, and sage leaves for 5 minutes, till the onion begins to turn translucent. 
  2. Add the broth, kale, cauliflower, beans, and Parmigiano rinds, simmer for 1 hour, or until the beans are tender. 
  3. Season with salt and pepper, serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. 
  4. Cook’s Note:  this recipe is easily done in the slow cooker, saute the vegetables in step 1, then transfer everything to your slow cooker.  Cook on high for 3 hours, low for 6 hours. 
  5. More Cook’s Notes:  Feel free to add more vegetables (leftovers work here) to this recipe, zucchini, peas, other leafy greens like chard, and green beans are good choices.  Also adding cooked chicken (that Costco Rotisserie chicken is the best!) or sausage to the soup gives you an extra boost of protein and helps get rid of leftovers.  

Dragon Tongue Bean Spread

Serves 6

This is a delicious spread to serve on crostini.  It freezes well, and you can keep it on hand in the fridge for about a week.  Think of it as an Italian hummus. 

1/2 pound dragon’s tongue beans, shelled
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
3 garlic cloves, sliced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup packed Italian parsley
Salt and pepper

  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, add the beans, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until they are tender. 
  2. Drain thoroughly and put into a food processor work bowl fitted with the steel blade.
  3. In a skillet, heat the oil, add the garlic cloves, and pepper flakes, and saute until the garlic becomes translucent, and flavors the oil, about 4 minutes.  Cool slightly.
  4. Put the parsley into the work bowl with the beans, add the garlic to the work bowl, and turn on the machine.  With the machine running, add the oil, until the mixture comes together into a paste.  Season with salt and pepper and transfer the spread to a shallow bowl.  Drizzle with any remaining garlic oil and serve at room temperature. 

Chicken Cacciatore

Serves 6

6 chicken breasts, skin and bones removed
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced into half moons
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound sweet Italian peppers, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot grigio)
One 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper

  1. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, in a large skillet, heat two tablespoons of oil, and saute the chicken on all sides until just turning brown.  The chicken will not be cooked through.  Remove from the pan to a plate, and cover with aluminum foil.
  2. Add the remaining oil to the pan, and saute the onion and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes until the onion begins to turn translucent.  Add the peppers, and saute another 5 to 6 minutes until they begin to soften. 
  3. Add the wine and bring to a boil to concentrate the flavor.  Add the tomatoes, and the chicken back to the pan. 
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened.  Season with salt and pepper and serve over polenta, rice, orzo, or pasta. 

Italian Peppers Stuffed with Eggplant

Serves 6

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound Italian sweet peppers, tops and seeded removed, cut lengthwise in half
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 cups finely diced eggplant (skin on)
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/3 cup packed Italian parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped if large
1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano

  1. Pour 1/4 cup of the oil into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and arrange the peppers in the dish cut side up. 
  2. In a skillet, heat the remaining oil, add the garlic, and pepper flakes, and saute 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add the eggplant and saute for 5 minutes until the eggplant begins to color a bit.
  3. Add the tomato puree, parsley, and capers and simmer until the mixture is jam-like, with the tomato and eggplant juices evaporated. 
  4. Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the breadcrumbs and the Pecorino, and stuff the peppers with the mixture. 
  5. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes until the peppers are softened and the filling is bubbling.  Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Kale Mac and Cheese

Serves 6

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, and finely chopped
1 pound cavatappi or elbow macaroni, cooked 3 minutes short of al dente
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups whole milk
Salt and a few drops Tabasco
2 cup shredded extra sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish (or two 9-inch baking dishes) with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, swirl the garlic, and pepper flakes in the skillet for 30 seconds until fragrant. 
  3. Add the kale, and saute until the kale is wilted.  Season liberally with salt and pepper.  Turn the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the pasta. 
  4. In a large saucepan, melt the butter, and saute the onion, sugar, salt, and pepper until the onions begin to caramelize. 
  5. Add the flour, and whisk for 2 minutes, cooking the flour.  Gradually add the broth and milk and bring to a boil.  Season with salt and Tabasco. 
  6. Remove from the stove and stir in the cheeses.
  7. Pour the mixture over the pasta and kale and stir to blend.  Transfer to the prepared baking dish.  In another small bowl, combine the panko and Parmigiano.  Sprinkle on the casserole dish, bake for 30 to 40 minutes until bubbling and the top is golden brown.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. 

Granny Smith Cobbler

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into wedges
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal, stone-ground
¼ cup granulated sugar, plus 2 teaspoons for sprinkling
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted
⅓ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat the inside of a 9 to 10-inch baking dish or cast iron skillet. 
  2. In a bowl, mix together the apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice. 
  3. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. 
  4. In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt, butter, buttermilk and vanilla.  Scoop the mixture into 8 biscuits and top the apples. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Bake another 15 to 18 until the biscuits are golden brown and the apples are bubbling. 
  5. Allow to rest for 10 to 30 minutes before serving. 

Baba Ghanouj

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound Italian eggplants, stem end trimmed, halved lengthwise
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1⁄3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini
3 garlic cloves
1 cup plain, full-fat yogurt
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1⁄4 cup pomegranate seeds
Mint leaves, for garnish
Pita chips, or wedges for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone.  Drizzle the cut half of the eggplant with olive oil, place eggplant cut side down on a baking sheet; and roast for 25 to 30 minutes until tender. 
  2. Transfer eggplant to a colander set over a bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Let cool and remove the peel. Place lemon juice, tahini, and garlic in a food processor, add the eggplant, the yogurt, salt, and pepper, pulse until slightly smooth and transfer to a shallow dish. Using a spoon, make a well on the surface, drizzle with oil. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and mint.

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. 

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.  Garnish with orange slices.

Roasted Salmon with Orange Cilantro Salsa

Roasted Salmon with Orange Cilantro Salsa

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning, or seafood seasoning
2 1/2 pound salmon filets
3 Valencia oranges, peel and pith removed, segmented, and chopped
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped Jalapeno pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup orange juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil, or parchment.
  2. In a bowl, combine the oil and Old Bay.
  3. Dip the filets into the oil mixture and arrange on the baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 10 minutes per inch or until an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 155 degrees.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes. 
  5. In a bowl, combine the orange, onion, cilantro, pepper, juice, garlic, and oil.  Season with salt if needed.
  6. Serve the salsa alongside the fish.  The salsa will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

Loaded Mashed Cauliflower

Serves 4 to 6

1 cauliflower cut into florets
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. Bring 4 quarts of a salted water to a boil, and cook the cauliflower until it is tender, about 12 minutes. 
  3. Drain thoroughly and put into a large mixing bowl. 
  4. Mash the cauliflower with the butter, sour cream, 1 cup of the cheese, and scallion.  Stir in the bacon, and season with taste. 
  5. Turn into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until bubbling and the cheese is golden brown.  Allow the casserole to rest for 5 minutes before serving.  This can also be made in six 4-ounce ramekins. 

Cauliflower Beer Cheese Soup

Serves 6

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium celery rib, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
Two 12-ounce bottles Belgian dark-abbey-ale style
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
 Few drops hot sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 torpedo onion, finely chopped using the red part only, for garnish
6 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled for garnish

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the butter add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and saute until the onion begins to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the cauliflower, ale, broth, bay leaf, hot sauce, and mustard, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.  Puree the soup with an immersion blender or mash the cauliflower with a potato masher. 
  3. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the cheese and cornstarch, stirring until the cheese is melted and smooth. 
  4. Garnish the soup with the torpedo onion and bacon if desired. 

Pear Mascarpone-Stuffed French Toast w/ Spiced Pear Sauce

Serves 8 to 10

For the Pear Sauce

This sauce is equally delicious on cake, or over ice cream

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 pound firm pears, peeled, cored, and diced
1 cup pear nectar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg

  1. In a large skillet heat the butter, and sugar, until the sugar melts. 
  2. Add the pears, nectar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 
  3. Simmer until the pears are softened.  Set aside.  If you are making this ahead it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for 2 months. 

For the French Toast

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 to 3 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
6 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons brandy
6 cups torn challah or egg bread
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup cinnamon sugar

  1. Coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. In a bowl whisk together the brown sugar, ginger, pears, eggs, cream, granulated sugar, nutmeg, and brandy.
  3. Add the challah or egg bread and press down to soak the bread. 
  4. Transfer half of the mixture to casserole dish.  Spread the mascarpone on the bread mixture, and top with the remaining bread mixture.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar, cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Allow the casserole to come to room temperature, set onto a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake covered for 30 minutes, uncover, and bake another 15 minutes until the casserole is puffed and golden.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes to set up, serve in a pool of the warm pear sauce. 

Pear Upside Down Cake

Serves 6 to 8

This beautiful cake is a showstopper—you can freeze it after it’s baked and store for 6 weeks.  Keep it in the baking dish, then warm it up in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes before unmolding.  It’s spectacular at Thanksgiving. 

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. 

Fall Salad with Oranges, Pomegranate and Orange Vinaigrette

Serves 6

4 cups field greens washed and spun dry
1/2 fennel bulb, root end removed, wispy ends discarded, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup Valencia orange juice
2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
2 Valencia oranges, peel and pith removed, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 cup Pomegranate arils

  1. In a salad bowl, combine the greens and fennel.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the juice, pomegranate juice, honey, mustard, and oil.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Toss the field greens with some of the dressing and plate the salad.
  4. Decorate the salads with some of the oranges and pomegranate arils. 

Pomegranate Slaw

Serves 6

1 small white cabbage, thinly sliced
1 red onion thinly sliced into half moons
2 purple carrots, grated
1 cup pomegranate arils
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
6 tablespoons vegetable oil

  1. In a salad bowl, combine the cabbage, red onion, carrots, pomegranate, and mint. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, and oil.  Pour over the slaw and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate the slaw for at least 2 hours before serving.  This is delicious with grilled seafood, chicken, or pork. 

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box September 30th, 2021

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Apple Fennel Salad with Gorgonzola

Serves 4

One head butter lettuce, washed, spun dry and separated into leaves
Four Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and cut into julienne
1 baby fennel bulb, wispy ends removed, cut into julienne
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

  1. Put the lettuce leaves onto salad plates.
  2. In a salad bowl, combine the apples, fennel, and cheese.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, honey, and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss the apples and fennel with the dressing, and mound into the butter lettuce leaves.
  5. Drizzle with a bit of the remaining dressing and serve. 

Fennel and Grapefruit Salad

Serves 4

One baby fennel bulb, wispy ends trimmed, and thinly sliced
2 star ruby grapefruits, peel and pith removed, sliced into 1/2-inch slices, and then cut into half moons
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon finely chopped oregano
Salt and pepper

  1. Arrange the fennel, grapefruit, and mozzarella in a decorative pattern on a serving platter.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, juice, honey, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the salad.  Serve at room temperature. 

Roasted Salmon with Spring Onion and Grapefruit Sauce

Serves 6

2 pound salmon filets
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 ruby red grapefruits
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 spring onion or scallion, finely chopped using the white and tender green part
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon honey
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, put the salmon into a baking dish, and brush with olive oil.  Roast the salmon until it reaches 155 degrees internal temperature.  
  2. While the salmon is roasting, juice one of the grapefruits and set aside.  Segment the other grapefruit (remove the peel and pith)
  3. Heat the olive oil, and saute the spring onion and ginger for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. 
  4. Add the honey, cayenne, grapefruit juice, the grapefruit segments, lemon juice, and basil, and simmer for 10 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.  Season with salt and pepper and serve over the roasted salmon. 

Zucchini Mac and Cheese

Serves 8

For the Topping

1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
2 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley

  1. Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside while making the mac and cheese.

For the Macaroni

   4 Tbs. unsalted butter
    2 Tbs. olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 cup finely chopped onion
    3 cups shredded zucchini
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
     2 cups chicken or vegetable broth    
    11/2 cups whole milk
    2 cups finely shredded Italian Fontina cheese
    3/4 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
    A few drops Tabasco, salt to taste
    1 pound cavatappi or elbow macaroni, cooked 4 minutes short of al dente

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy-duty 3- to 4-quart saucepan and sauté the garlic for 30 seconds.  Add the zucchini, and saute until tender. 
  3. Whisk in the flour and cook over low heat for 3 minutes—slowly add the broth and milk, while whisking until the sauce comes to a boil.  Remove from the heat. 
  4. Whisk in the cheeses, and season with Tabasco and salt. 
  5. Place the macaroni in a bowl and pour in the spigarello cheese sauce.  Stir to blend. 
  6. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and spread the topping over the top of the casserole. 
  7. Do-Ahead:  At this point, the casserole can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated overnight.  Bring to room temperature before baking. 
  8. Bake the casserole for 20 to 30 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. 

Make Ahead Praline Apple French Toast

Serves 6 to 8

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups pecan halves
6 cups torn egg bread or good quality white bread
3 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
6 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Coat with nonstick cooking spray two 9-inch round pie pans, 2 1/2 inches deep, or a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  2. Combine the melted butter and both sugars in a medium-size bowl.  Pour into the prepared pan(s), tilt to cover the bottom evenly, then arrange the pecans over the bottom.
  3. Put the bread and apples in a large bowl.
  4. In a medium-size bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla.  Pour over the bread and apples and mix well.
  5. Do-Ahead: At this point, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake until puffed and golden, 45 to 55 minutes.

Golden Beet Salad

Serves 4

One bunch golden beets, scrubbed, and tops trimmed
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
One bunch arugula, washed and spun dry
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

  1. Steam the beets for 20 to 30 minutes until tender when a paring knife is inserted into the center. 
  2. When cool enough to handle, slip off the skins, and thinly slice the beets. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the juice, vinegar, and oil.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Toss the beets with some of the dressing. 
  5. Plate the arugula, drizzle with some dressing, top with the beets, and crumbled goat cheese.  Drizzle with the remaining dressing. 

Roasted Vegetable Farro Salad

Serves 6

1 pound zucchini, scrubbed, and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
One bunch rainbow chard, tough stems removed, and finely chopped
1 bunch golden beets, peeled and shredded
4 yellow carrots, grated
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 cups pearlized farro
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup packed basil
1/4 cup packed Italian parsley
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil, or parchment.
  2. In a bowl, combine the zucchini, chard, beets, and carrots with 1/2 cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.  Spread the vegetables onto the baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, turn and roast another 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender, and the chard has a bit of char on it. 
  3. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, add the farro and cook for 17 to 20 minutes until al dente. 
  4. Drain thoroughly and put into a salad bowl.
  5. Add the vegetables to the farro.
  6. In a blender or food processor combine the vinegar, basil, parsley, garlic, and cheese, pulsing on and off to break up the garlic.  With the machine running, slowly pour in the oil, until the dressing is thickened.  Season with salt and pepper. 
    Pour the dressing over the vegetables and farro and toss to coat.  Serve at room temperature.
  7. If you would like to make this ahead, cool, cover and refrigerate overnight.  2 hours before serving, remove from the refrigerator, and re-toss. 

Spicy Ginger-Garlic Beans

Serves 4

1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon grated ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 dried red chili, seeds removed, and chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon rice wine (Mirin)
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoon sesame seeds for garnish

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet till almost smoking and stir fry the beans, until they begin to shrivel. 
  2. Remove from the wok, add the ginger, garlic, chili (if using) and saute for 30 seconds. 
  3. Add the wine, and soy sauce, and the beans back into the wok, stirring to blend.  Serve garnished with sesame seeds, or scallions. 

Green Bean Salad

Serves 4

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup soy sauce
Few drops Tabasco
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon honey
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup vegetable olive oil

  1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, add the beans, and cook for 3 minutes.  Drain well and put into a salad bowl.
  2. Add the mushrooms and scallions.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, Tabasco, ginger, honey, garlic, lemon juice and oil. 
  4. Pour over the salad and toss to coat. 
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or for up to 48 hours.  Re-toss to serve. 

Chicken Chopped Salad with Roasted Poblano Dressing

Serves 4 to 6

For the Dressing

2 medium poblano chiles
1 scallion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely
chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 cup low-fat (1.5%) buttermilk
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Large pinch of sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. . Coarsely chop the poblanos and transfer to a blender or food processor.
  2. Add the scallion, garlic, cilantro and lime juice and blend until roughly chopped.
  3. Add the buttermilk, olive oil and sugar and puree until smooth.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Do-Ahead: The dressing can be refrigerated, covered, for up 4 days. 

For the Salad

1 head romaine lettuce, washed spun dry and chopped
2 yellow carrots, coarsely grated on a box grater
2 medium zucchini, finely diced
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups crushed tortilla chips

  1. In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine, carrots, zucchini, onion, and chicken. 
  2. Toss with some of the dressing, add the tortilla chips and toss again.  Serve immediately with additional dressing on the side. 
  3. The dressing is a delicious marinade for chicken, too.

Zucchini Poblano Soup

Serves 6

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup white onion, thinly sliced
1 large poblano pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 pound zucchini, cut into 1-inch rounds
2 yellow carrots, scraped, and chopped
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 small Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
1/2 cup packed cilantro, coarsely chopped, plus whole leaves for garnish
1 cup sour cream

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil, add the onion and poblano and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the zucchini, carrots and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Add the broth and Parmesan rind and bring to a boil.
  4. Simmer over moderate heat until the zucchini is very tender and no longer bright green, about 15 minutes. Discard the Parmesan rind and add the chopped cilantro.
  5. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Return the soup to the pot, whisk in the crème fraîche, and reheat gently if necessary.
  6. Season the soup with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Garnish the soup with cilantro leaves and serve.

Poblano Cornbread

Serves 6

1 medium poblano chile
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup thawed frozen corn kernels, or fresh cut from the cob
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cup grated pepper jack cheese

  1. Light a grill or preheat the broiler. Grill or broil the poblano, turning frequently, until charred all over, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chile to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 15 minutes. Peel and seed the poblano and cut it into 1/4-inch dice.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of an 8-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a skillet.
  4. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the poblano and corn and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the 6 tablespoons of melted butter along with the milk and eggs and whisk until just incorporated.
  6. Fold in the poblano-corn mixture and 3/4 cup of the pepper jack cheese. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top.
  7. Bake the cornbread for 35 minutes, until the top is light golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Transfer the cornbread to a rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cornbread, turn it out onto the rack and let cool slightly. Cut the cornbread into wedges and serve warm.

Poblano Butter

Makes about 3 cups

1 pound poblano chilies
3/4 pound unsalted butter, softened
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup packed cilantro
Salt and pepper

  1. Light a grill or preheat the broiler. Grill or broil the poblano, turning frequently, until charred all over, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chile to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 15 minutes. Peel and seed the poblano and put into the work bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add the butter, garlic, lime juice and cilantro to the work bowl and process until smooth. 
  3. Taste for seasoning adding salt or pepper as needed. 
  4. Roll into a 1-inch in diameter log and wrap in plastic wrap.  Store in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to six months. 
  5. Use the butter on grilled meats, poultry, and seafood, as well as vegetables and slathered on French bread and grilled.  The butter is also a great “flavor bomb” — stir into rice, or pasta. 

Pasta with Rainbow Chard, Chickpeas and Pancetta

Serves 6

One pound shell pasta, cooked 3 minutes short of al dente, and hot pasta water saved
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch rainbow chard, tough stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1/4 cup white wine or water
One 14.5-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
Salt and pepper

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, and saute the pancetta, till it is crispy. 
  2. Add the onions, garlic, and pepper flakes.  Saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion is softened.  Add the chard, and saute until the chard is wilted. 
  3. Add the wine, and beans, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the pasta, and toss to coat, adding some of the hot pasta water, and 1/2 the cheese.  Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with additional grated cheese. 

Swiss Chard, Black Bean Tacos

Serves 4 to 6

The filling for these meatless Monday tacos also makes a nice side dish.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
One bunch Swiss chard, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
2 ears corn, cut from the cob (or 1 cup frozen defrosted)
Salt and pepper
One 14.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Six 6-inch corn or flour tortillas, warmed
1 cup crumbled cotija cheese

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, saute the garlic, onions, cumin, and oregano until the onions begin to soften.  Add the chard and corn, and saute till the chard is wilted, season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Stir in the beans, and lime juice, and heat through. 
  3. Serve the mixture in tortillas garnished with cheese. 

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 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. 

Asian Pear Galette

Serves 6

For the dough

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Ice water, as needed

  1. In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt until combined, then add the butter. Using a dough cutter or your fingers, squish and flatten the butter pieces into the flour until you have the texture of coarse meal with pea-sized (and larger) pieces throughout.
  2. Add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons water and mix until dough comes together into a ball. If the dough seems dry, you may need more water; add an extra tablespoon at a time until you can form a ball.
  3. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. When you’re ready to assemble the galette, preheat the oven to 400°F.

For the filling and assembly

1 pound Asian pears halved, cored, and thinly sliced into half moons
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon raw sugar

  1. In a bowl toss together the sliced pears, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and juice, and salt.
  2. On a clean working surface or large cutting board, lightly dust with flour and roll dough out into a flat round, about 1/8-inch thick and 13 inches wide.
  3. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  4. Place the pears in the center, arranging them over one another, leaving behind the accumulated juices. Fold over the edges of the dough so there’s about a 1- to 2-inch border. Carefully pour the juices over the center of the galette (ensuring it remains within the crust).
  5. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon brown sugar over the fruit. Brush the crust with heavy cream and sprinkle with the raw sugar.
  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the crust has browned and the filling is bubbling. Let sit to cool slightly.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box September 23rd 2021

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

French Potato Salad

1 pound Satina potatoes
1/2 pound yellow wax beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped scallion or spring onion
1/3 cup or so extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 to 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil, tarragon, or Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Put the potatoes into water to cover and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife.  Remove the potatoes from the water, and cool.  Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes until crisp/tender.  Drain thoroughly.
  2. When the potatoes are cool, cut into bite sized pieces and add to a salad bowl with the drained beans.
  3. Add the scallions to the bowl. 
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, garlic, vinegar, Dijon, chives, and basil.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Pour over the potatoes, beans and onions and toss to coat. 
  6. Allow to mellow at room temperature for 1 hour before serving. 
  7. Or, if you are making this ahead, toss with 1/2 of the dressing, then cover and refrigerate the salad and remaining dressing.  Re-toss just before serving.

Corn and Kale Fritters

Serves 4

2 cups cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt
Few drops Tabasco
1 1/2 cups milk
2 large eggs
2 cups corn, cut from the cob
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped torpedo onion
2 cups kale, tough stems removed, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 cup vegetable oil for frying

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, paprika, salt, Tabasco, milk, and eggs.  Fold in the corn. 
  2. In a skillet heat the oil, and saute the garlic and onion for 2 to 3 minutes to soften the onion.  Add the kale and saute until the kale is wilted.  Season well with salt and pepper, cool and add the kale to the batter, whisking to blend. 
  3. Heat the oil to 350 degrees and using a 1/4 cup measure pour the batter into the oil, and cook until the underside is firm, and golden, turn, and cook until the underside is golden brown.  Remove to paper toweling to drain.  Keep warm in a 350 degree oven and repeat the frying until all the fritters are done. 
    I like to serve these with a ranch, chipotle mayonnaise, or an aioli.

Purple Carrot Salad

Serves 4 to 6

1 bunch purple carrots, coarsely shredded
2 torpedo onions, finely chopped, using the white and tender green parts
3 tangerines, peeled, separated into segments, and chopped
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

  1. In a bowl, combine the carrots, scallions, and tangerines. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard, and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the carrots and toss to coat.  The salad can be refrigerated for up to 12 hours.  Re-toss when ready to serve. 

French Apple Cake

Serves 6

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 cameo apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
Confectioners’ sugar for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of an 8-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, flour baking powder, salt, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla extract, stirring to combine.  Add the apples and stir until the apples are incorporated. 
  3. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow the cake to rest 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cake rack to cool completely.  Sift confectioners’ sugar over the cooled cake for garnish if desired. 

White Eggplant Ratatouille Salad

Serves 6

2 gold bar squash halved lengthwise, and chopped
1 pound white eggplant, cut into 1″ wedges
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound penne, cooked 2 minutes short of al dente
1 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
8 ounces small fresh mozzarella balls, cut in quarters
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 cup packed basil leaves

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, toss the squash, eggplant, and ¼ cup oil season with 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper. Broil, turning often, until steamy, tender, and charred all over, 8–12 minutes. Cool, cut into bite sized pieces and put into a salad bowl.
  3. Add the pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, vinegar, basil, remaining salt, pepper, and oil.  Toss to combine.   Allow to mellow at room temperature for up to 4 hours before serving.  If you plan to make this ahead, refrigerate up to 24 hours, and remove from the fridge 2 hours before serving.  

Power Salad

Serves 6

1 1/2 cup pearlized farro
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1 cup shredded purple carrots
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded gold bar squash
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon chile garlic sauce

  1. Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil.  Add the farro and cook for 20 minutes until tender.
  2. Meanwhile arrange the kale, carrots, cheddar, and squash in a large salad bowl. 
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and chile garlic sauce. 
  4. When the farro is cooked, drain thoroughly, add to the kale mixture, and pour the dressing over the mixture, and toss to coat.  Serve at room temperature. 

Pickled Asian Vegetables

Makes about 2 cups

1 cup shredded purple carrots
1 cup shredded Japanese turnips
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Few drops of Sriracha (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro or Italian parsley

  1. In a bowl, combine the ingredients, cover, and refrigerate overnight.  Drain the marinade and refrigerate for up to 5 days. 

Miso Glazed Turnips and Apples

Serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons white miso
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
One bunch Japanese turnips, tops removed, scrubbed, and quartered
1 pound Cameo apples, cored and cut into quarters
3 scallions, finely chopped for garnish
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment, aluminum foil or silicone.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the miso, oil, maple syrup, vinegar, and soy sauce.
  3. Add the turnips and apples, stirring to coat. 
  4. Arrange the vegetables and marinade on the baking sheet, roast the vegetables for 35 to 45 minutes until tender. 
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. 
  6. Cook’s Note:  the turnip greens are a terrific bonus, use them in sautés or in soups. 

Curried Rice Salad with Corn, Zucchini and Peaches

Serves 6

4 cups cooked and cooled basmati rice
2 ears yellow corn removed from the cob
2 gold bar squash cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder add more to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped basil

  1. In a large salad bowl, combine the rice, corn, squash, and peaches. 
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, dry mustard, and curry powder. 
  3. Pour the dressing over the rice mixture and toss to coat. 
  4. Add the basil toss again and serve. 
  5. Cook’s Note:  You can add protein to this salad like leftover cooked seafood, poultry, or pork. 

Kale and Potato Gratin

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound white cascade potatoes, thinly sliced on a mandoline (about 1/4-inch thick)
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 cup grated Gruyere, or imported Swiss cheese

  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, swirl the garlic in the pan for 30 seconds, until fragrant, and add the kale.  Saute the kale until it begins to wilt. 
  3. Add the milk and cream to the pan, along with the sliced potatoes, and garlic. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are beginning to turn tender.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Combine the cheeses in a bowl. 
  5. Transfer the potato/kale mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the cheese. 
  6. Do-Ahead:  At this point, you can cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight. 
  7. Bake the gratin for 35 to 40 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and the potatoes are tender. 
  8. Allow the gratin to rest for 10 minutes before serving. 

Sweet Corn Bread with Roasted Peaches and Maple Bourbon Sauce

Serves 6

For the Cornbread

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup corn cut from the cob

  1. Preheat the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand-held electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
  5. Adjust the mixer speed to low and add the cream, milk, and sour cream; mix until combined.
  6. The batter may look curdled at this point. Fold in the corn
  7. Add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined and scraping down the sides as needed.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  9. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let the cornbread cool in its dish on a rack until warm.

For the Peaches

4 firm peaches (you can sub in any stone fruit you have on hand), halved, and pitted
2 tsp. raw sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Dip the cut sides of the peaches into the raw sugar and put them into an oven proof skillet large enough to hold the 8 peach halves comfortably, cut side down.
  3. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the peaches are soft.  Cut the peaches in half and keep warm.

For the Maple Bourbon Sauce

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup Bourbon
Vanilla ice cream for serving

  1. In a saucepan, heat the butter, add the brown sugar, and stir until the brown sugar melts. 
  2. Add the maple syrup and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes, to reduce the sauce. 
  1. In a saucepan, heat the butter, add the brown sugar, and stir until the brown sugar melts. 
  2. Add the maple syrup and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes, to reduce the sauce. 
  3. Add the bourbon and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.  Serve warm. 

To serve: 

Cut the cornbread into squares.  Put 2 wedges of peach onto the top of the cornbread, top with some vanilla ice cream.  Ladle some of the sauce over the peaches and ice cream.  Serve warm. 

Peach Streusel Muffins

Makes 1 dozen

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
3 peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter or margarine

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and coat the inside of muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Beat 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1/3 cup sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg, beating until blended.
  4. Combine 2 1/3 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, stirring well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract, and fold in chopped peaches.
  6. Spoon muffin batter into greased or paper-lined muffin pan, filling two-thirds full.
  7. Combine 1/4 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon; cut in 2 1/2 tablespoons butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over muffin batter.
  8. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans, and cool on wire racks.

Comice Pear Condiment for Cheese Platters

Makes about 2 cups

In Europe cheese platters include condiments to complement the cheeses.  At this time of the year, pears and apples dominate the condiment list, and this condiment can be used as a spread for grilled cheese or turkey sandwiches, as well as a dip for bread sticks, and to compliment cheeses.  It makes a great gift, too.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 comice pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar

  1. In a skillet, heat the butter, and saute the onions for 4 to 5 minutes until they begin to turn translucent. 
  2. Add the pears, brown sugar, and vinegar, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the mixture has thickened and takes on a jam-like consistency. 
  3. Season with additional sugar or vinegar if needed.  Cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 month. 

Farro Salad with Pomegranates and Feta

Serves 6

2 cups pearlized farro
1 leek, finely chopped, using the white and tender green parts
2 gold bar squash, ends trimmed, and cubed
1 cup pomegranate arils
1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill weed
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese

  1. Bring 4 cups of water to boil, add the farro and cook 20 minutes until al dente. 
  2. Drain the farro and cool slightly. 
  3. Add the leek, gold bar squash and pomegranate arils.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, garlic, honey, dill, parsley, and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour over the salad and toss to coat. 
  5. Toss in the feta and combine. 
  6. Serve at room temperature. 

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box September 16th 2021

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Sweet Potato Pie

Serves 6

One 9-inch unbaked pie crust, either store bought or homemade
1 pound O’Henry Sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon dark rum
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prick the potatoes with the sharp end of a paring knife on all sides. 
  2. Roast the potatoes for 45 minutes to one hour, until they are soft when squeezed with an oven mitt.  Remove from the oven, slice in half, and scoop out the flesh with a large spoon into a mixing bowl. 
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the potato flesh and beat until smooth.
  4. Pour into the pie pan, and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees, and bake another 30 to 40 minutes until the pie is set. 
  5. Cool completely on a wire rack, and serve garnished with whipped cream, crème fraiche or ice cream.  Refrigerate any leftovers.  The pie can also be frozen after cooling, for about 2 months.     

All Butter Pie Crust

Makes one 9-inch pie crust

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup ice
Bench Flour for rolling

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and sugar. 
  2. Add the butter and coat with the flour. 
  3. Cut the flour and butter together using a pastry blender, until the butter is the size of peas.
  4. Combine the water, cider vinegar and ice in a measuring cup. 
  5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the mixture over the flour and mix and cut in with a bench scraper until fully incorporated.  Add more of the mixture 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time using a bench scraper or your hands, until the dough comes together in a ball with a few dry bits remaining.  
  6. Shape into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 1 hour. 
  7. Coat the inside of a 9-inch pie plate that is 2-inches deep with non-stick cooking spray. 
  8. Flour a board and roll out the disc into an 11-inch round.  Gently transfer to the pie plate and flute the edges of the pie crust.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before filling and baking. 

Adapted From the Four and Twenty Blackbirds Bakery, Brooklyn

Adapted From the Four and Twenty Blackbirds Bakery, Brooklyn

Serves 4

Polpette are small balls of savory mixtures, like meatballs, here is a great recipe for a meatless dish.  You can use Chinese or Italian eggplants in this recipe. 

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound Chinese eggplant, stem end trimmed, and cut in half
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 15 to 20 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 saute 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 polpette 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. 

Zucchini Carbonara

Serves 6

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 zucchini, 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, saute 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 Gratin

Zucchini Gratin

1 red spring onion, thinly sliced thin
Salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 pound zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, or extra virgin olive oil

  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, combine the onion, salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, cream, milk, and zucchini.  Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes until the squash is tender. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheeses, and butter. 
  4. Transfer the squash mixture to the baking dish, and sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture. 
  5. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the casserole is bubbling and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving

Crostini with Carrot Pesto

Crostini with Carrot Pesto

This recipe comes from La Planeta Estate in Menfi, Sicily, it pairs well with a crisp white wine such as Grecante.

For the Crostini

Makes about 24 pieces

One baguette sliced into1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with silicone or parchment. Lay the baguette slices in one layer on the baking sheet. 
  2. Brush the baguette slices with oil and bake for 10 minutes until the slices begin to turn golden brown. 
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. 
  4. The crostini can be stored at room temperature for 2 days, or frozen for one month. 

For the Carrots

1 bunch carrots, scraped, and cut into 1-inch pieces (Save the tops—see recipe below)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/2 to 2/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup packed mint
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Crostini for serving

  1. Put the carrots into saucepan with salted water to cover and simmer for 5 minutes until the carrots are crisp/tender—don’t let them get too soft.  Drain thoroughly and set aside. 
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the butter and saute until the shallots are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Cool with the carrots. 
  3. Put the carrots, shallots, cheese and mint into a food processor and pulse on and off to break up carrots and mint. 
  4. With the machine running, add 1/3 cup of the olive oil until the mixture comes together.  Depending on the fibrousness of the carrots you may need a bit more olive oil. 
  5. Spread the pesto over the crostini and drizzle with a bit of carrot top pesto if desired. 
  6. The carrot pesto will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.  It can be frozen for about 2 months. 

Carrot Top Pesto

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. 

Cook’s Notes:
To use the pesto, the paste can be used for bruschetta, or tossed into pasta, and rice.
Add more oil to some of the pesto to make a sauce for grilled meats, roasted vegetables, to top crostini and poultry.
Add a bit of vinegar or lemon juice to make a vinaigrette.

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. 

Caramelized Onion Kale Bread Pudding

Serves 4 to 6

2 cups day old bread, cut into cubes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 large, sweet onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
1 bunch purple kale, tough stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
Salt and pepper
4 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
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. Line a baking sheet with parchment, aluminum foil, or silicone.  Arrange the bread on the baking sheet in one layer, and drizzle with the oil.  Toss to coat the bread.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cubes are crispy.  Cool and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the butter, and saute the onions, garlic and sugar until the onions begin to caramelize.
  4. Add the kale, and saute until the kale is wilted.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to the bowl with the toasted bread. 
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream.  Pour over the bread mixture and toss to coat. 
  6. Transfer to the prepared dish. 
  7. Sprinkle with the cheeses, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the pudding is set, and the cheeses are golden brown.  Allow the pudding to rest for 10 minutes before serving. 
  8. Variation:  Coat the inside of 12 muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray, and pack with the kale mixture.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until set. 

Orange Bars

Makes about 12

1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees coat an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl stir together the 1 cup flour, the 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, and the 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press mixture evenly and firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake about 15 minutes or until light golden around the edges.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the granulated sugar, eggs, orange peel, orange juice, flour, and the 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour orange mixture over the hot crust.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Dust bars with 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. 

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

Serves 4

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
2 torpedo onions, thinly sliced, using the red and tender green parts
Cooked rice, for serving

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, soy, oyster sauce, chile garlic, ginger, garlic, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.  Pour 1/2 of the mixture into a zip-lock bag, add the chicken, seal the bag, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  Set the rest of the marinade aside. 
  2. In a large wok or skillet, heat the remaining oil, and stir fry the chicken until it is white on all sides, push it to the side, add the broccoli and 1/2 the onions, and stir fry another 3 to 4 minutes, until the broccoli is crisp/tender.  Toss the chicken and broccoli together, add the remaining marinade, and cook until the chicken and broccoli are coated.  Serve over rice. 

Tuscan Apple Cake

Serves 8

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon Amaretto
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
5 Crispin apples, peeled, cored, and cut ½-inch thick
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Coat the inside of a 10-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  3. Add the zest, Amaretto, and vanilla paste, and beat until blended. 
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. 
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt blending until smooth. 
  6. Cut 2 of the apples into a small dice. 
  7. Fold the small pieces into the batter and transfer the batter to prepared pan and smooth the top.
  8. Arrange the cut apples core side down, on the top of the batter in circles over the entire surface with an arrangement like a sun.  The apples should be close together.  Brush the apples and batter with the melted butter. 
  9. Generously sprinkle the apples and batter with the 3 tablespoons sugar.
  10. Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and the cake is golden brown.  A skewer inserted into the center should come out clean. 
  11. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, remove the sides of the pan, and cool completely.  Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desires. 
  12. The cake keeps covered, at room temperature overnight.

Cider Crème Anglaise

Makes about 3 cups

This is a lovely sauce to serve over the cake, but can also garnish other fall desserts, like apple, pumpkin, or pear pies. 

2 cups organic apple cider
½ cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
5 large egg yolks

  1. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the cider and ½ cup of sugar.  Bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes until reduced to 1 cup.  Cool the cider thoroughly. 
  2. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the cream, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and egg yolks over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. 
  3. Continue stirring over medium heat until the mixture thickens and just begins to simmer.  Immediately remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  4. Stir in ½ cup of the cider, cover, and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until chilled, about 2 hours, or the crème can be served warm. 
  5. Any leftover reduced cider can be used in salad dressings, or as a drizzle over ice cream. 
  6. Do-Ahead: The crème can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.

Braised Chicken with Pears

Serves 6

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced into 1/2 moons
1/2 pound bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 4 wedges
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup pear nectar
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream mixed with 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Salt and pepper

  1. In a large skillet with high sides, melt the butter and oil. When the foam subsides add the chicken and cook until the underside is browned, turn, and cook to brown the other side.  Remove the chicken to a plate, add the onion pears, and sugar, saute until the onions are translucent, and beginning to caramelize. 
  2. Add the pear nectar and broth to the pan and return the chicken to the pan.  Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes (uncovered) until the chicken is cooked through.  (160 degrees on an instant read meat thermometer)
  3. Using a slotted spoon, arrange the pear and onion mixture on a serving platter, top with the chicken. 
  4. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce, and bring to a boil, until the sauce is thickened.  Season with salt and pepper, pour some over the chicken, and serve the rest on the side. 
  5. This dish is delicious served with buttered noodles, over polenta, or rice. 

Arugula with Roasted Pear Salad

Serves 4

1/2 pound bartlett pears, sliced into 8 wedges
Raw sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 port wine
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1 bunch arugula, washed and spun dry
1/2 cup toasted walnuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone. 
  2. Dip the cut sides of the pears into the raw sugar and lay onto the baking sheets. 
  3. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pears are tender, and the sugar has caramelized.  The pears should be golden brown and dry.  Allow to cool to room temperature. 
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, port, mustard, and oil.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Toss the arugula with the dressing and plate the salad. 
  6. Garnish the salad with the pears, and walnuts.   Drizzle with a bit more of the dressing and serve. 

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box September 9th 2021

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Red Grapefruit Granita

Serves 4 to 6

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups red grapefruit juice
2 cups sparkling water or champagne

  1. In a saucepan, heat the sugar and water, stirring until the mixture is dissolved.
  2. Cool the mixture completely.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the simple syrup with the grapefruit juice, and sparkling water.
  4. Pour into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and set in the freezer.
  5. Freeze for 2 hours and break up the granita with a fork. Every hour for 2 more hours, break up the granita. It should be uniform ice crystals. Serve in martini glasses.

Red Grapefruit Curd

Makes about 3 cups

1 1/2 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  1. In a saucier, or saucepan, whisk together the sugar, eggs, and juice. Place over medium heat and whisk until the mixture thickens, and almost boils.
  2. Remove from the heat and add butter, whisking in a few bits at a time, until they are incorporated.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and press plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.
  4. Cool, and refrigerate, the curd will set up in the refrigerator.

Use the curd on toast, English muffins, with scones for tea, and as a filling for cakes, or topping for cheesecakes.

Romanesco Squash Fritters

Serves 4

2 Romanesco squash, scrubbed, and coarsely grated
Salt
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumb
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 garlic clove, minced
1 scallion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Oil for Frying

  1. Put the squash into a colander and sprinkle with the salt.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Squeeze out the moisture, and transfer to a bowl. 
  2. Add the egg, breadcrumbs, Parmigiano, garlic, and scallion to the squash.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a large skillet, form the zucchini mixture into 1 to 2-inch patties, and fry on one side till golden brown, turn and fry on the other side till golden brown.  Drain on paper toweling and serve warm.  These can be kept warm in a 250-degree oven for up to 1 hour. 

Romanesco Squash Salad

Serves 4

1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed well
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 to 3 cups thinly sliced Romanesco squash
One bunch arugula, tough stems removed, washed, and spun dry
1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano

  1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, parsley, chives, capers, lemon juice and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a salad bowl, combine the squash and arugula.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.  Add 1/2 the cheese and toss again. 
  3. Serve the salad garnished with the remaining cheese. 

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 1/2 pounds 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.

Miso Maple Roasted Japanese Turnips

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 Japanese turnips scrubbed, tops removed, and halved, quartered if large
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 turnips 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 turnips 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. 

Save the Greens!

Serves 4

Turnip greens are a great source of vitamins and minerals.  This quick saute is awesome as a side dish or as a bed for roasted poultry or seafood. 

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 bunch turnip greens, washed, spun dry and chopped
Salt and pepper

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, saute the garlic for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent.  Remove the garlic, add the greens and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper and serve. 

Cauliflower Cake

Serves 6

This recipe is a riff on Yotam Ottolenghi’s Cauliflower Cake from Plenty More.  This version works well and is a beautiful centerpiece for Meatless Monday. 

2 tablespoons white sesame
1 cauliflower, cut into florets (you should have at least 4 cups)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil olive oil
7 large eggs
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Coat the inside of a springform pan with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle the sesame seeds into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Set aside.
  2. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, and simmer the cauliflower for 15 minutes, until the florets are soft.  They should come apart when speared with a fork.  Drain and season with salt and pepper. 
  3. In a skillet, heat the oil, and saute the onion until it is softened.  Add the turmeric, and saute another minute.  Set aside to cool. 
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, onion, basil, flour, baking powder, Parmigiano, salt, and pepper.  Whisk until smooth.  Add the cauliflower and stir to combine. 
  5. Pour the cauliflower into the pan, bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until golden brown and set, a knife inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before serving.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from:  Plenty More, by Yotam Ottolenghi

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Serves 4 to 6

1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup corn, cut fresh from the cob or frozen and defrosted
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

  1. To make the cauliflower rice, pulse cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor until it resembles rice, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium skillet over low heat. Add eggs and cook until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side, flipping only once. Let cool before dicing into small pieces; set aside.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion to the skillet, and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in carrots, corn, and peas, and cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are tender, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Stir in cauliflower, eggs, green onions, and soy sauce mixture.
  6. Cook, stirring constantly, until heated through and the cauliflower is tender, about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds, if desired.

Stuffed Eggplant

Serves 4 to 6

2 eggplants
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with silicone, parchment, or aluminum foil. 
  2. Cut off the stem end of the eggplant, and then cut the eggplant in half lengthwise.  Drizzle the cut sides with some of the oil, place cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender. 
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. 
  4. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, leaving 1/2-inch border on the skin. 
  5. Chop the eggplant and set aside. 
  6. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet, add the sausage, and cook breaking the sausage apart.  When the sausage loses its pink color, add the reserved eggplant, garlic, and onion, saute for 3 to 4 minutes until the onion is softened. 
  7. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the milk and bring to a boil.  Season with nutmeg and parsley. 
  8. Take the pan off the heat and add 1/2 cup of the cheese, stirring to melt the cheese. 
  9. Season the filling with salt and pepper.  Refill the eggplant halves, combine the remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle evenly over the eggplant filling.  Put the eggplant onto a baking sheet. 
  10. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cool, cover, and refrigerate the eggplant overnight.  Bring to room temperature before baking. 
  11. Bake the eggplant for 20 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the crumbs are golden brown. 

Eggplant Caponata

Serves 6

Caponata is served everywhere in Sicily; serve it as a relish alongside grilled seafood, meats, and poultry.  It’s also delicious served on bruschetta. 

1 eggplant, stem end trimmed (you will need about 3 cups)
Salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup capers, if salted, plunge into hot water for 2 minutes, then rinse
1/4 cup chopped green olives

  1. Slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch thick slices, and then cut into 1/2-inch dice. Put the eggplant into a colander and sprinkle with salt. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the onion and celery, and saute until the onion begins to turn translucent. 
  3. Press any water out of the eggplant, and pat dry on paper towels. 
  4. Add the eggplant to the onions and celery, saute until the eggplant is golden brown. 
  5. Add the tomato, vinegar, and sugar. 
  6. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. 
  7. Add the capers and olives and keep warm until ready to serve.
  8. Caponata is better the next day, after the flavors get to know one another. 

Cajun Collards

Serves 4

6 strips thick-cut bacon, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch collard greens, stems removed, sliced into 1 inch ribbons
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
hot sauce for serving

  1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp.  Add the onion and garlic, and saute until the onion is beginning to turn golden. 
  2. Add the greens, Cajun seasoning, and broth.  Bring to a simmer and simmer, uncovered for 90 minutes, until the greens are tender.  Season with salt and pepper and serve with hot sauce and cornbread. 

Pluot Clafoutis

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 pound Emerald Pluots, pitted and cut into thin slices
5 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Put the pluots into the baking dish and arrange into a single layer; set aside.
  3. Combine the eggs, sugar, cardamom, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until smooth and the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the flour and whisk until just smooth. Add the milk, 3 tablespoons butter, and vanilla and whisk until just combined.
  5. Slowly pour over the fruit (to prevent the fruit from floating) in the prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake until set, puffed, and light golden-brown around the edges, about 40 to 50 minutes.
  7. Place the baking dish on a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes (the clafoutis will deflate). Cut into squares, dust with powdered sugar if using, and serve warm.

Creamy Avocado Dressing

Makes about 2 cups

1 medium ripe avocado
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients, and puree. 
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using on lettuce for salad, tossing with pasta for salad, or using as a drizzle over seafood or poultry. 

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
1 Tablespoon 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 white 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 puffs 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 September 2nd

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This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Broccoli Chicken Bake

Serves 4 to 6

1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets (save the stems)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 chicken breasts, skin and bones removed
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup milk, half and half or heavy cream (or for non-dairy more broth)
Salt and pepper
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, and blanch the broccoli for 2 minutes, drain thoroughly, and season with salt and pepper.
2. Coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and layer the broccoli in the bottom of the casserole dish.
3. In a large skillet, melt the butter and oil, season the chicken with salt and pepper, and brown the chicken on all sides (the chicken won’t be cooked through, but will finish in the oven)
4. Place the browned chicken on top of the broccoli.
5. In the same skillet add the onion and curry powder, and saute 1 minute. Stir in the flour, and cook for 2 minutes, whisking the mixture. Slowly add the broth and milk (if using) and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and additional curry powder if needed. Pour over the chicken and broccoli and sprinkle with the cheese. At this point the casserole can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for 24 hours.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (165 on an instant read meat thermometer) the sauce is bubbling, and the cheese is golden brown. Allow the bake to rest for 10 minutes before serving with rice.

Broccoli Stem Slaw

Serves 4:
If you don’t have stems on the broccoli, this also works with florets that are blanched for 2 minutes, then cooled.


2 cups broccoli stems, cut into julienne (peel the broccoli stems if tough)
2 cups grated rainbow carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped baby leeks
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1. In a bowl, combine the broccoli stems, carrots, and leeks.
2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, juice, honey, mustard, and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the poppy seeds before tossing and toss the salad with the dressing.

Indian Eggplant Bacon

Serves 4:

1/2 pound Indian 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.

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, saute 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 Vegetables with Herb Vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 6:

1/2 pound Italian eggplant, stem and root ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 pound zucchini, stem and root ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch long slices
1/2 pound baby leeks, root end removed, and cut in half lengthwise
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Arrange vegetable slices on baking sheet.
2. Brush both sides with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. 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 lemon vinaigrette.
Lemon Vinaigrette
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion or shallot
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
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.

Salmon Salad Nicoise Style

Serves 4 to 6

1 1/2 pound salmon filets
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound fingerling potatoes, diced
1/2 pound blue lake green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
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 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 bunch arugula, washed and spun dry
1 cup cucumbers, sliced, seeds removed if large
1/2 cup Nicoise olives, pitted, and chopped
1/2 cup finely baby leek, using the white and tender green parts

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil, silicone, or parchment paper, lay the salmon on the sheet pan, and brush with the oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Allow the salmon to cool and cut into chunks.
2. Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes and beans, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain, and cool.
3. In a mixing bowl whisk together the parsley, basil, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard. Arrange the arugula on a serving platter, drizzle with some of the dressing.
4. Dress the still warm potatoes and beans with some of the dressing.
5. Arrange the potatoes and beans on the arugula, then arrange the cucumbers olives and leek, on the potatoes and beans. Drizzle with some of the dressing, and top with the roasted salmon. Drizzle with any remaining dressing and serve.
6. Cook’s Note: this salad can be made with leftover grilled fish, or poultry. The traditional salad uses canned Italian tuna poached in olive oil.

Zucchini Fritters

Serves 4 to 6:

4 medium zucchini, grated on the large holes of a box grater
Salt
1 baby leek, finely chopped, using the white and tender green part
2 egg yolks, beaten
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying

1. Put the zucchini in a colander, and sprinkle with salt, allow the excess water to leach out from the zucchini. Squeeze the zucchini dry.
2. Put the dry zucchini, leek, egg yolks, flour and cheese in a mixing bowl and stir to blend.
3. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a large non-stick skillet, and using a portion scoop, fry 2 tablespoons of the zucchini mixture until the underside is golden, turn and cook until the other side is golden brown. Drain on paper toweling, and serve with minted cucumber yogurt dip (below)

Cucumber Yogurt Dip:
2 cups Greek Style yogurt
2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup finely chopped baby leek using the white and tender green parts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
Salt and pepper

1. In a mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients, seasoning with salt and pepper.
2. The dip will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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.

Kale and Apple Slaw

Serves 6:

3 tablespoons white miso paste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 bunch kale tough stems removed and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1 Golden delicious apple, cored and grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1/2 cup total)
2 medium rainbow carrots, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1/2 cup total)

1. In a large bowl, combine the miso, lemon juice, vinegar, olive and sesame oils, and pepper to make a thick dressing.
2. Toss in the kale, apple, and carrots, and mix continuously for a couple of minutes to coat the kale very well. Make it at least an hour or two before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

Apple Cake with Caramel Pecan Sauce

Serves 8:

2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 pound Golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a sheet pan with silicone, or coat with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until blended.
4. Add the flour, baking soda, and spices and beat until just incorporated.
5. Stir in the apples, nuts, and vanilla. Scrape into the prepared pan.
6. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached to it, 35 to 40 minutes.
7. Set the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes.
8. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cool completely, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 6 weeks.
9. Reheat the chilled or defrosted cake, before serving, covered with aluminum foil, in a 350° F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Caramel Pecan Sauce:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup pecan halves
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream

1. Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Add the pecans and toast, stirring, for about 3 minutes.
3. Stir in the brown sugar and continue stirring until it melts.
4. Add the cream and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce boils.
5. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Reheat over medium heat.

Not Your Mama’s Green Bean Casserole

Serves 6:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped baby leeks, using the white and tender green parts
1/2 pound mushrooms
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cream sherry
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 cups water
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch lengths

1. In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring a few times, until the liquid from the mushrooms
has evaporated. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and onions and stir until blended. Cook stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until the flour is cooked.
2. Gradually stir in the broth and whisk until it comes to a boil. Add the cream and sherry and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
3. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before continuing.
4. Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the green beans, and return the water to a boil. Cook the beans until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the beans.
5. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can shock the beans under cold running water to cool them down. Drain, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Reheat, covered, in the microwave for 3 minutes or plunge into boiling water for 1 minute and drain before continuing.
6. To serve, place the warm green beans in a serving dish and pour the warm sauce over them.

Balsamic Peach, Fig and Buratta Platte

Serves 4 to 6:

1/2 pound peaches, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 pound black beauty figs, quartered
1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma, cut into julienne
8-ounces buratta, cut up
1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil

1. Arrange the peaches and figs on a serving platter. Sprinkle the prosciutto over the fruit. Arrange the buratta between the fruit.
2. Drizzle the platter with the balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with basil. Serve at room temperature.

Peach Tart

Serves 6

1 9-inch prebaked pie crust
1 cups heavy cream
8-ounces mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
3 peaches, pitted, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup apricot or peach jam

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Add the mascarpone and sugar and beat to combine.
2. Spread the mixture into the prepared pie crust.
3. Arrange the nectarines on top of the mascarpone.
4. Warm the jam and brush it over the nectarines to seal the fruit.
5. Refrigerate the pie for 2 hours. Serve cold.

Roasted Chicken and Figs

Serves 6:

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup honey
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 baby leeks, thinly sliced using the white and tender green parts
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
8 to 10 figs, stems trimmed, halved (quartered if large)

1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup water, the vinegar, and cornstarch. Whisk in honey and set aside. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
2. Heat a heavy 12- to 14-in. ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
3. Add oil and swirl to coat, then add chicken skin side down and brown until skin is deep golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn over and brown other side, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a plate, cover with aluminum foil and set aside.
4. Reduce heat to medium, and cook leeks until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add cornstarch mixture, chopped basil, and remaining 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper; cook until mixture bubbles and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Set chicken skin side up in frying pan and add figs. Roast in oven until figs soften and caramelize slightly and meat is no longer pink at bone, about 15 minutes and serve.

Pork Tenderloin with Peach Barbecue Sauce

Serves 4 to 6:

For the Sauce
:
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 cup chopped red onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeño
1/2 pound fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1/4cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup bourbon
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
Salt and pepper

1. In a saucepan, heat the oil, and saute the onion and jalapeno for 2 minutes.
2. Add the peaches, vinegar, bourbon, honey, mustard, sugar, and dry mustard.
3. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes until thickened.
4. Using a potato masher or immersion blender, smooth out the sauce. At this point, the sauce can cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 1 week.

For the Pork:
Two 1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
4 cups water
4 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Put the pork tenderloins into a large zip-lock bag.
2. In a mixing bowl, dissolve the salt and sugar in the water. Pour over the pork, seal the bag, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 12 hours.
3. Discard the water in the bag, rinse the tenderloin, and pat dry.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In an ovenproof skillet, heat the oil, and brown the tenderloins on all sides.
5. Generously brush with the glaze, and roast until an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 155 degrees.
6. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
7. Slice the tenderloin, and brush with some of the remaining glaze. Serve any glaze warmed on the side.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers Market Box August 26th 2021

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This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Absolutely the Best Carrot Cake

Makes 24 cupcakes, two 9-inch round/square layers, or one 13-by-9-inch pan:

1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
3 cups thinly shredded carrots
One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add the carrots, pineapple and 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. CUPCAKES 20 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.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Makes 6 cups, enough to frost two 9-inch layers, one 13 x 9-inch cake, or 48 cupcakes

One 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine
5 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
Milk, as needed
1. Using an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese and butter in a medium-size bowl. Add the confectioners’ sugar and extracts and beat until the mixture is of spreadable consistency. If the frosting is too thick, beat in some milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
2. 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.

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.

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.

Vegan Chinese Eggplant Bacon

1/2 pound Chinese 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.

Twice Baked Japanese Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves 4:

1 1/4 pounds Japanese sweet potatoes, scrubbed and pierced with the sharp tip of a paring knife
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 leeks, finely chopped using the white and tender green parts
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
6 strips bacon, cooked crisp, and crumbled

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Bake the potatoes for 40 to 50 minutes until they are soft to the touch.
3. While the potatoes are baking, in a skillet heat the butter, and saute the leeks until they are translucent. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
4. Remove the potatoes from the oven, and slice in half lengthwise.
5. Remove the flesh with a spoon and turn into the bowl with the leeks.
6. Mash the potatoes with 1 cup of cheddar cheese, and the sour cream. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Turn the potatoes into the baking dish, sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and bacon.
7. Reduce the oven to temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted, and potatoes are cooked through.

Miso Glazed Japanese Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4:

3 tablespoons white miso
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 pound purple Japanese sweet potatoes, scrubbed, and cut into quarters
3 scallions, finely chopped for garnish
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment, aluminum foil or silicone.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the miso, oil, maple syrup, vinegar, and soy sauce.
3. Add the potatoes, stirring to coat.
4. Arrange the vegetables and marinade on the baking sheet, roast the vegetables for 35 to 45 minutes until tender.
5. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Scarlett Runner Succotash

Serves 4:

1/2 pound scarlet runner beans, shelled
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups diced gold bar squash
1 cup corn kernels cut from the cob
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
2 tablespoons snipped chives for garnish

1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil with the bay leaf, add the beans, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until tender. Drain thoroughly and season with salt and pepper.
2. In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil, add the onion and saute for 3 to 4 minutes until the onion is translucent.
3. Add the squash, corn, and beans, and saute until the squash begins to color a bit. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Add the basil and saute another minute. Serve garnished with fresh chives.

Pasta with Pancetta and Swiss Chard

Serves 6:

1 pound penne or other shaped pasta
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped pancetta
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch rainbow chard, washed, spun dry, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano

1. Bring 8 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 2 minutes short of al dente.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, saute the pancetta until crispy.
3. Add the garlic and swirl in the pan for 3 seconds until fragrant.
4. Add the chard and cook until the chard is wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
5. When the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water if needed.
6. Toss the pasta with the chard in the skillet, add half of the cheese, and a bit of pasta water to make a creamy sauce.
7. Serve the pasta garnished with the remaining cheese.

Scarlett Runner Vegetable Soup

Serves 6:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped sage (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried whole sage)
2 cups gold bar squash, diced
3 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 bunch rainbow chard, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 pound scarlet runner beans, shelled
Rind from Parmigiano Reggiano, chopped (optional)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

1. In a Dutch oven and stock pot, heat the oil, and saute the garlic, onion and sage until the onion begins to soften. Add the squash, carrots, and chard, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until the chard begins to wilt.
2. Add the broth, beans, rind (if using) and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, and simmer for 1 hour until the beans are tender. Re-season with salt and pepper and serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Passion Fruit Upside Down Cake

Serves 6:
If you are not fond of the seeds in passion fruit strain them out, but this cake looks awesome when they are left in. Serve with unsweetened whipped cream.


1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup passion fruit pulp

1. Coat the interior of a 10-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat, then add the brown sugar and stir for a few minutes until the brown sugar is completely combined and melted.
3. Add the passion fruit pulp, stir to blend, then pour into the bottom of the cake pan.
4. Set aside while making the cake batter.

For the Cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 cups heavy cream, whipped stiffly for garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and stir to blend.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
4. Mix the sour cream and orange juice together, add with the flour, baking soda and salt, and beat until the mixture comes together and is smooth.
5. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Transfer the cake pan to a rack and allow to cool for EXACTLY 10 minutes.
7. Turn the cake out onto a serving platter and serve at room temperature.
8. Refrigerate any leftover cake, and re-warm before serving, garnish with whipped cream, crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream.

Passion Fruit Lime Curd

Makes about 4 cups:

3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup passion fruit pulp
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, eggs, lime juice, and passion fruit pulp. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture thickens.
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter a few bits at a time.
3. Transfer to a bowl and press plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd to avoid forming a skin.
4. Cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
5. This is delicious as a filling for cakes, as a spread for English muffins, or as a topping for pudding.

Gold Bar Breakfast Strata

Serves 6:

12 ounces bulk pork or turkey breakfast sausage
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 cups gold bar squash, shredded
1 cup bicolor corn, stripped from the cob
6 cups white bread cubes (I like to use a farm type sandwich white bread)
6 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
Few drops Tabasco
2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

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, cook the sausage, breaking it up into pieces until it is no longer pink. Remove from the skillet and set into a large mixing bowl.
3. Saute the onion, squash and corn until the onion is translucent and the liquid in the pan has evaporated.
4. Cool the mixture and add to the sausage in the bowl.
5. Add the bread cubes to the bowl.
6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, Tabasco and 1 cup of cheese.
7. Pour over the sausage mixture and toss to coat.
8. Transfer to the baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the strata is golden brown and puffed. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving .

Spicy Pepper Steak

Serves 6:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
One 2 pound round steak about 1-inch thick, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper
2 medium onions, thinly sliced into 1/2 moons
1 cup thinly sliced banana peppers, cored, and seeded
2 teaspoons dried oregano
One 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes and their juice
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, season the steak with salt and pepper, and brown the steak cubes on all sides. Remove from the Dutch oven add the onions, peppers, and oregano, and saute until the onion begins to turn translucent.
2. Add the tomatoes, steak cubes and balsamic vinegar back to the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper, and simmer covered for 1 hour, until the steak is tender. Serve over pasta, rice, or polenta.

Slow Cooker Tangerine Pudding Cake

Serves 6:

2 cups tangerine segments
4 large eggs, separated grated zest of one orange or tangerine
1/3 cup orange juice 4 tablespoons butter, softened 1 2/3 cups milk 1 cup sugar 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Coat the insert of a 5 to 7-quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Spread the tangerine segments over the bottom of the slow cooker.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and set aside. In another mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and blend in the zest, juice, butter, and milk. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, flour and salt and add to egg yolk mixture beating until smooth and fold into the reserved egg whites. Transfer the batter to the prepared slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 2 ½ hours.

Brown Butter Nectarine Cobbler

Serves 6:

3 cups nectarines cut in 1/2-inch slices
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons raw sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of an 8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the fruit slices, 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a simmer, then take the pan off the heat.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until it smells very nutty, turns golden, and flecks of dark brown appear, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the brown butter into the baking dish.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour the buttermilk into the dry ingredients and mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Scrape the batter on top of the brown butter, use a spatula to even out the batter but be careful not to mix it into the butter. Scatter the nectarine slices and juice on top of the batter without stirring. Sprinkle with the almonds, nutmeg, and raw sugar. Bake until golden brown, 50 to 55 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.

Shrimp and Nectarine Salad

Serves 4 to 6:

1/3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup corn cut from the cob
1 pound uncooked shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 cups torn mixed salad greens
2 medium nectarines, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1. In a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, tarragon, and oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. In a skillet heat the butter, and saute the corn, shrimp, lemon zest, juice and pepper until the shrimp turn pink. Set aside to cool.
3. In a large salad bowl, combine the greens nectarines, tomatoes, and red onion. Top with the shrimp and corn mixture and toss with the dressing.

@Diane Phillps Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box August 19th 2021

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This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Beef and Yu Choy Stir-Fry

Serves 6:

To Prepare the Meat:
1 pound flank steak, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon oyster sauce

1. In a bowl, add the sliced beef, baking soda, and water.
2. Massage the beef with your hands until all the liquid is absorbed.
3. Mix in 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoons oil, and 1 teaspoon oyster sauce, and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

For The Sauce:
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1. Make the sauce mixture by mixing the chicken stock, sugar, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper. Set aside.

Prep and Serve:
1 bunch Yu choy, chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (mixed with 3 tablespoons water)

2. Heat your wok over high heat until smoking. Add 2 tablespoons oil and sear the beef on both sides until browned (this should only take 2-3 minutes). Turn off the heat, remove the beef from the wok, and set aside.
3. Set the wok over medium heat and add another tablespoon of oil to the along with the garlic and ginger (if using). Stir the garlic and ginger for 5 seconds, add the Yu Choy and stir fry for 2 minutes. Pour the Shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok.
4. Next, add in the sauce mixture you made earlier. Stir the sauce around the sides of the wok to deglaze it Bring the sauce to a simmer. Stir the cornstarch and water slurry to ensure it’s well
combined and drizzle the mixture into sauce while stirring constantly. Allow it to simmer and thicken for 20 seconds.
5. Add the beef back to the skillet and toss to combine. Serve over steamed rice.
6. Cooks’ Note: this same method can be used with chicken or pork.

Stir Fry Noodles with Yu Choy

Serves 4:

12 ounces fresh or dry noodles, such as Chinese egg noodles or rice noodles
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
2 cups finely diced chicken, or thinly sliced julienned beef, or firm tofu
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup julienne carrots
1 bunch Yu Choy, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons broth or water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds for garnish
1 green onion, thinly sliced using the white and tender green parts

1. Cook the noodles according to the package directions and drain. Set aside.
2. In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil, swirl the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chicken, beef, or tofu, and saute until the chicken is white all over.
3. Transfer to a plate and add the onion, carrots, and yu choy to the skillet, and saute until the onion is softened.
4. Add the chicken and noodles back to the pan. Add the soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil to the pan, and saute until the chicken/beef/tofu is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Serve garnished with sesame seeds and green onions.

Beet, Pluot and Buratta Salad

Serves 4 to 6:

1 bunch beets, tops removed, and scrubbed
1/2 pound pluots, pitted, and diced
1/4 pound thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma
8-ounces buratta or fresh mozzarella torn
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup packed basil leaves for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Put the beets onto the baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil, and roast for 30 minutes (medium beets) to 60 minutes (large beets) until tender; a sharp paring knife will go into the beet easily. Allow the beets to cool, slip off the skins and cut the beets into 1/2-inch dice. Set aside.
2. Arrange the beets, pluots, Prosciutto and mozzarella on a serving platter. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garnish with basil leaves.
4. Cook’s Note: I’ve made this salad with any stone fruits, cherries, pluots, apricots, and peaches all work well.

Tuscan Frittata

Serves 6:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup thinly sliced sweet yellow onion
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bunch mustard greens, washed, spun dry, tough stems removed and finely chopped
8 large eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, in an oven proof skillet, heat the oil, saute the garlic, onion and sugar until the onion begins to turn translucent.
2. Add the mustard greens, and saute until the greens are wilted.
3. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and pour the eggs evenly on the mustard greens. Lift the greens to make sure the eggs get to the bottom, and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake the frittata until it is set in the middle. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Braised Satina Potatoes

Serves 4:

1 pound Satina potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth (plus more if needed)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped chives for garnish

1. Put the potatoes in a single layer in a 12-inch skillet. They will be crowded, but they shouldn’t be stacked. Sprinkle the thyme between the potatoes. Cut 3 tablespoons of the butter into pieces. Add the butter, salt, and pepper to the potatoes.
2. Pour in the broth, partially cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium high heat, until the potatoes are tender, and most of the liquid is absorbed, this should take about 20 to 25 minutes. If the broth evaporates during the cooking add 1/4 cup more, until the potatoes are tender. Melt the remaining butter and toss with the potatoes and garnish with the chives. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Salad Nicoise

Serves 4 to 6:

1/2 pound yellow beans, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound Satina potatoes, scrubbed
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 red or green leaf 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
8 ounces Swiss cheese, coarsely shredded

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.

Pluot and Pretzel Cheesecake

Serves 6 to 8:

4 large pluots pitted and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
6 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups finely ground salted pretzels
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup mascarpone cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1. In a large bowl, toss together pluots, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Let stand for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F and coat the inside of a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl, stir together pretzels, melted butter, and granulated sugar until combined. Press pretzel mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie plate.
4. Bake until golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat mascarpone, cream cheese, and remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar at medium speed until smooth. Add egg, vanilla, and zest, beating until combined. Spoon into prepared crust.
6. Drain pluots, arrange on top of mascarpone mixture in a circular pattern, slightly overlapping (you may have a few leftover plum slices). Brush with any remaining syrup.
7. Bake until filling is set, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Cauliflower with capers, raisins, and breadcrumbs

Serves 8 to 10:

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons salted packed capers, soaked, rinsed, patted dry
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

1. Preheat oven to 400 line 2 baking sheets with silicone, parchment, or aluminum foil.
2. In a bowl, toss the cauliflower, 3 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes until crispy.
3. Heat the remaining oil in a small saute pan over medium low heat, add the garlic, and cook until just golden. Add the capers and cook until they begin to pop. Add the breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Cook stirring until the breadcrumbs are golden.
4. Set aside.
5. Add chicken broth and anchovy paste to the saute pan, bring to a boil, add the golden raisins, and white wine vinegar, and cook until the liquid is almost absorbed.
6. Transfer the cauliflower to a serving bowl, scatter the raisins, toss to combine. Sprinkle cauliflower with the bread crumb mixture and serve.

Baked Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Dip

Serves 6:

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces goat cheese, softened
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley
Toasted baguette slices or fresh vegetables to dip
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the inside of a gratin dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a 5-quart saucepan, heat 3 quarts of salted water. Add the cauliflower, and simmer until the cauliflower is crisp/tender, about 6 minutes.
3. Drain thoroughly and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
4. In a small skillet, melt the butter, and sauté the garlic and shallot for 2 minutes, until fragrant, add the red pepper flakes, and swirl in the pan for 10 seconds. Set aside to cool.
5. Place the cauliflower, garlic butter, Dijon mustard, cream cheese and goat cheese in a food processor, and process on and off until the mixture is smooth, with a few chunks of cauliflower.
6. Taste for seasoning and adjust using salt or pepper.
7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
8. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the dip for 2 days. Before baking, remove the baking dish from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking, and proceed as directed.
9. In a small bowl, combine the Parmigiano, breadcrumbs, oil, and parsley, and stir until the crumbs are moistened. Sprinkle over top of the cauliflower mixture, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the dip is bubbling, and the topping is golden brown. Spread on crackers, baguette slices, or use as a dip for vegetables.

Mediterranean Zucchini Fritters

Serves 4:

1 pound zucchini, trimmed and grated on the wide holes of a grater or food processor
Salt
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as fennel, dill, mint, parsley (I like to use mostly dill)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 to 1 cup fresh or dry breadcrumbs, more as necessary
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta
All-purpose flour for dredging
Vegetable oil for frying
Greek Style yogurt for serving

1. Salt the zucchini generously and leave to drain in a colander for one hour, tossing and squeezing the zucchini from time to time. Take up handfuls of zucchini and squeeze out all the moisture. Alternately, wrap in a clean dish towel, and squeeze out the water by twisting at both ends.
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add the shredded zucchini, herbs, cumin, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper to taste and feta. Mix well.
3. Take up a small handful of the mixture; if it presses neatly into a patty, it is the right consistency. If it seems wet, add more breadcrumbs or a few tablespoons of all-purpose flour. When the mixture has the right consistency, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour or longer.
4. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large frying pan until rippling. Meanwhile, take up heaped tablespoons of the zucchini mixture, and form balls or patties. Lightly dredge in flour.
5. When the oil is very hot, add the patties in batches to the pan. Fry until golden brown, turning once with a spider or slotted spoon. Remove from the oil and drain briefly on a rack. Serve with plain Greek style yogurt if desired.

Pickled Zucchini Salad

Serves 4 to 6:

2 cups white wine vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup packed fresh dill
3 large zucchini, diced
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper

1. In a saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic, and dill to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar.
2. Put the zucchini into a boil and pour the pickling liquid over the zucchini. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes, then drain thoroughly.
3. Arrange the zucchini, mozzarella, and tomatoes on a serving platter. Drizzle with the zest, lemon juice, and oil. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Potato Leek Soup

Serves 6:
This French classic can be served hot or cold.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks, finely chopped using the white and tender green parts
1 1/4 pounds Satina potatoes, peeled, and coarsely chopped
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped chives for garnish

1. In a Dutch oven, heat the butter, and saute the leek for 5 to 6 minutes, until they begin to turn translucent.
2. Add the potatoes and toss in the butter and leek mixture.
3. Add the broth and bring to a simmer.
4. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Puree the soup with an immersion blender.
7. Add the cream, and season again with salt and pepper.
8. Serve the soup hot or cold garnished with chopped chives.

Chicken Poached with Port and Leeks

Serves 6 to 8:

For the Leeks
:
4 medium leeks, with coarse green ends trimmed
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
Ground pepper to taste
1. Split leeks lengthwise to within ½ inch of their roots. Rinse under cold water.
2. Drain and cut into 1 inch lengths.
3. Melt butter in a 4 quart saucepan.
4. Add leeks and cook gently, stirring occasionally until soft, about 10 minutes.
5. Add cream, salt and pepper and cook over medium high heat until cream is thick enough to coat leeks. Keep warm while preparing chicken.

For the Chicken:
8 chicken breast halves, boned and skinned
Salt
Ground pepper
1 cup port wine
1 cup beef stock or beef broth
1 stick butter, chilled and cut into 8 pieces

1. Pat the chicken dry, and season with salt and pepper. Pour port and broth into a large saute pan.
2. Arrange chicken breasts in a single layer.
3. Cut a piece of aluminum foil to fit pan and place directly on the chicken. Cook over high heat until chicken is firm to the touch. NO MORE THAN 8 MINUTES!
4. Transfer to plate to cover loosely with aluminum foil.
5. Boil liquid over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Whisk butter, one piece at a time, waiting until each piece is incorporated before adding another. Adjust seasoning.
6. Spoon leeks onto platter and chicken breasts over them. Drizzle with sauce.

Caramelized Leek and Spinach Dip

Serves 6:

One round unsliced sourdough loaf
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 bunch leeks, root ends trimmed, washed, and thinly sliced using the white and tender green parts
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bunch spinach, washed, spun dry and chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek style yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere or Jarlsberg cheese
Crackers, pita chips or crudites for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil or parchment.
2. Cut the top off the sourdough loaf and hollow out the inside, leaving 1/2 to 1-inch inside the loaf. Cut the interior pieces and top into cubes. Put the cubes, and the sourdough loaf on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the cubes from the baking sheet to cool.
3. While the bread is baking, in a large skillet, heat the butter, add the leeks, salt, pepper and sugar, and saute until the leeks are beginning to turn golden brown.
4. Add the spinach, and nutmeg, saute until the spinach is wilted. Cool the mixture.
5. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, yogurt mayonnaise, cheese, and the leek/spinach mixture. Turn into the sour dough loaf, and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the dip is bubbling.
6. Serve with the cubes, and crackers, pita chips or crudites.

Baby Corn Masala

Serves 4:

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 pound baby corn, shucked
1/2 cup coconut milk well shaken

1. 1.Heat oil and add cumin, bay leaf, ginger, and the garlic, and saute till a light brown.
2. 2.Add onions and saute till a golden brown, then add tomatoes and stir fry over medium heat.
3. 3.When fat separates, add the salt, garam masala and the red pepper and stir till well mixed.
4. 4.Add baby corn and coconut milk, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot over steamed basmati rice.

Curried Chicken Salad with Baby Corn

Serves 6:

For the Dressing
:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder

1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

For the Salad
:
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped leeks
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
1/2 pound baby corn, husked and chopped
1 head romaine lettuce, washed, spun dry and chopped
1/2 cup salted roasted cashews for garnish

1. In a salad bowl, combine all the ingredients except the cashews. Toss with the dressing and garnish with the cashews.

The 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 basket mixed grape tomatoes, washed, stemmed, and cut in half
1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

2. 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.
3. 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 tomatoes and mozzarella. Transfer to the baked shell, top with the Parmigiano and bake another 15 to 20 minutes until the tart is bubbling and the cheese is melted.
4. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into wedges.

@Diane Phillips www.dianephillips.com Blog: www.cucinadivina.blogspot.com
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Farmers’ Market Box August 12th 2021

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This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Pasta with Roasted Sunburst Squash and Calvo Nero

Serves 4 to 6:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup packed sage leaves, roughly chopped
1 pound sunburst squash, ends trimmed and quartered
1 bunch black kale, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One pound penne, or other shaped pasta like rigatoni or mostaccioli cooked 3 minutes short of al dente saving some of the hot pasta water
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, silicone, or parchment.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oil, garlic, onion, sage, squash, and kale. Season with salt and pepper and
3. Toss to coat. Spread onto the baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for 10 minutes, turn and roast another 5 to 7 minutes until the squash has begun to color.

Sunburst Squash Bread Pudding Casserole

Serves 4 to 6:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound sunburst squash, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped basil (you can sub in oregano, sage, or tarragon here)
salt and pepper
6 large eggs, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
Few drops of Tabasco
6 cups bread cubes (crusts removed)
1/2 cup cubed Gruyere cheese
1/3 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. In a large skillet, heat the butter, saute the onion and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion is softened.
3. Add the squash and basil, and saute until the liquid in the pan has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Cool the mixture.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and Tabasco. Add the cooled vegetables, bread cubes and cheese cubes. Stir to combine pressing the bread into liquid to soak it through. Turn the mixture into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with the Parmigiano Reggiano. (At this point the casserole can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 24 hours—remove from the fridge 1 hour before baking to get to room temperature)
5. Bake the casserole for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the casserole is bubbling. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Bruschetta with Black Kale and Buratta

Serves 6:

For the Bruschetta
:
1 baguette, sliced 1/2-inch thick
Olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil or parchment.
2. Lay the slices onto the baking sheet and brush with oil.
3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until crunchy.

For the Kale
:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, and leaves cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1/4 to 1/3 cup vegetable or chicken broth
Salt and pepper

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, swirl the garlic and red pepper in the oil for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
2. Add the kale, and saute until it begins to wilt, about 4 minutes. Add the broth, cook another 5 minutes until the kale is tender. Season with salt and pepper.

To Assemble:
Bruschetta
Sautéed Kale
2 balls buratta, sliced
Fleur de Sel

1. Spread some of the kale onto the bruschetta.
2. Top with a bit of the buratta, and sprinkle with the fleur de sel. Serve warm.

Garnet Yam Salad

Serves 4 to 6:

One pound garnet yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup dill pickle relish
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
2 ribs celery, diced
1/2 small red onion, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil or parchment.
2. In a bowl, combine the potatoes, oil, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat. Spread onto the baking sheet in an even layer, and roast for 15 minutes, turn the potatoes, and roast another 10 minutes until they are tender. Cool completely.
3. In a bowl, stir together the relish, mustard, honey, vinegar, mayonnaise, chives, and parsley until blended.
4. When the potatoes are cooled add the celery and onion to the potatoes in a bowl. Toss with the mayonnaise mixture and season with salt and pepper.
5. Variation: For a Southwestern dressing: 1/2 cup mayonnaise; 2 tablespoons lime juice; 2 chipotle peppers in adobe, chopped; 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro; 2 tablespoons chopped oregano. Blend and toss with the potatoes, celery, and red onion.

Warm Green Bean and Corn Salad

Serves 4:

1/2 pound blue lake green beans, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 strips bacon, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup corn cut from the cob
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes, until crisp/tender.
2. Drain thoroughly, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
3. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy, add the onion and corn, and saute until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the mustard, sugar, and red wine vinegar, and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the beans and toss to coat. Serve garnished with chopped chives.

Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Pluot Gastrique

Serves 6:

For the Gastrique
:
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 pound flavor king pluots, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
Salt freshly ground black pepper

1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the honey until it becomes a tawny color, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and pluots, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
2. The Gastrique can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. It’s delicious over chicken, or lamb or pork.

For the Tenderloins:
Two one pound pork tenderloins, trimmed
4 cups water
4 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Put the pork tenderloin into a zip-lock bag.
2. In a mixing bowl, dissolve the salt and sugar in the water. Pour over the pork, seal the bag, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 12 hours.
3. Discard the water in the bag, rinse the tenderloin, and pat dry.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In an ovenproof skillet, heat the oil, and brown the tenderloin on all sides.
5. Generously brush with the Gastrique, and roast until an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 155 degrees.
6. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
7. Slice the tenderloin and serve garnished with the Gastrique. Serve any additional Gastrique warmed on the side.

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.

Chopped Chicken Salad

Serves 6:

One head romaine, washed spun dry and chopped
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
3 rainbow carrots, scrubbed, and julienned
1 pluot, diced
2 to 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds for garnish

1. In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine, celery, carrots, apple, chicken, and onion.
2. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, soy, vinegar, sugar, ginger, and garlic. Adjust seasoning using soy or sugar to taste.
3. Toss the salad, and garnish with sesame seeds.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

Serves 4:

1 bunch rainbow carrots, tops removed, scraped, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, silicone, or parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, combine the carrots, oil, salt, pepper, honey, and cumin.
3. Spread the carrots onto the baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes until tender, turning them once or twice during the cooking time.
4. When the carrots are cooked, transfer them to a serving dish, and drizzle with carrot top pesto Serve warm.

Carrot Top Pesto

Makes about 3 cups:

2 cups chopped carrot tops, washed, and spun dry
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. In a food processor or blender, combine the carrot tops, garlic, and almonds. Pulse on and off to break up the garlic and nuts.
2. With the machine running, pour in the oil, and process until smooth.
3. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the pesto for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
4. Drizzle the pesto over the roasted carrots or toss with pasta.

Moussaka

Serves 6 to 8:
A few steps are involved in this delicious meal, pair with salad and red wine vinaigrette and crusty bread for a comforting dinner.


1 pound Italian eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pounds ground lamb
1 28-ounce can tomato puree
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼ cup Italian parsley, minced
½ cups dry white wine
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the broiler or a grill for 10 minutes. Lay the eggplant onto a foil lined baking sheet, brush the eggplant slices with some of the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill/broil until they are golden on one side. Cool.
2. In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil, and saute the onion, garlic, oregano, and cinnamon for 2 to 3 minutes to soften the onion.
3. Add the lamb, and saute breaking up any large pieces, until the lamb is no longer pink. Remove any excess fat from the pan.
4. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, parsley, and wine, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 45 minutes until thickened.

For the Bechamel:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
3 cups Kefalotyri or Pecorino Romano cheese
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter, and whisk in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, add the milk, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly, whisk in the eggs, and 1 cup of cheese.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle some of the breadcrumbs over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the eggplant slices and spread the meat sauce over the eggplant. Top with 1/2 cup of the remaining cheese. Layer the remaining eggplant on the cheese, and spread the bechamel over the top, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs.
3. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, or freeze for 1 month.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 45 minutes, until well browned. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes, before cutting into 3-inch squares to serve.

Roasted Eggplant Rollatini

Serves 6:

For the Eggplant:
One pound Italian purple eggplant, stem and root end removed and sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking liners, aluminum foil, or parchment.
2. Lay the eggplant onto the baking sheets.
3. In a bowl, combine the oil, salt and pepper and brush the eggplant with the oil.
4. Bake for 10 minutes until the eggplant begins to soften, turn the eggplant, brush with the oil, and bake another 20 minutes until the eggplant is golden brown.
5. At this point you can cool, cover, and refrigerate the eggplant until ready to roll.

For the Sauce:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Two 28.5-ounce cans chopped tomatoes and their juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1. In a skillet, heat the oil, and saute the onion, basil, and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion begins to soften.
2. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Add the basil and parsley, and season again with salt and pepper.
4. Do-Ahead: The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Assembly
:
8-ounces smoked Scarmorza or smoked mozzarella
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
Fresh Basil leaves for garnish (optional)

1. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Depending upon your eggplant you may need a 13-by-9-inch dish (for more than 8 slices of eggplant) or a 9 to 10-inch baking dish for 8 or less slices.
2. Cut the mozzarella into 1/4-inch slices.
3. Lay an eggplant slice on a flat surface and place the cheese in the center of the slice. Fold the eggplant over the cheese, and place seam side down on the sauce in the prepared pan.
4. Continue to roll the slices until they are all used.
5. Top each slice with some of the remaining sauce. Sprinkle any remaining cheese over the eggplant, and top with the parmesan.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the eggplant for 25 to 35 minutes, until the cheeses are melted, and bubbling. Serve garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Pan Roasted Chicken and Peaches

Serves 4:

1 pound firm peaches
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup ruby port
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger root, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and toss together the ingredients in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
2. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once during the cooking time, until the chicken is cooked through, and the peaches are softened.
3. Serve over rice, or polenta.

Poached Peaches in Moscato

Serves 4 to 6:

3 firm peaches (see note)
1 liter Moscato wine
1/4 cup honey
3 thin slices of ginger (about dime size) (you can change this to 1 cinnamon stick if you’d like)
Crème fraiche, Greek style yogurt, or ice cream for serving
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

1. Cut the peaches in half and pit them.
2. In a Dutch oven, combine the Moscato, honey and ginger or cinnamon.
3. Add the peaches and bring to a simmer. (Simmer is defined as bubbles just breaking the surface)
4. Simmer the peaches for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender, but not falling apart.
5. Remove the peaches from the wine and set aside.
6. Bring to the syrup to a boil, and reduce by half, until thick and syrupy.
7. Put a peach half in a bowl, dollop with crème fraiche, yogurt, or ice cream.
8. Drizzle with warm syrup and serve garnished with sliced almonds.
9. Cook’s Note: The syrup can be frozen and used in drinks (think Sangria) drizzled over cake, ice cream, or your morning yogurt.
Cook’s Note: You can use peaches, nectarines, and plums in this recipe, they all work well.

Thomcord Grape Pie

Serves 6

For the Crust
:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water, as needed

1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until the mixture forms lima bean-size pieces. Slowly add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. It should be moist, but not wet.
2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Divide into 2, flatten each into a disk with the heel of your hand. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
3. Coat the inside of a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.
4. On a floured board, roll out the bottom crust to 11-inches and lay into the prepared pan.
5. Roll out the top crust and refrigerated while getting the fruit ready.

For the Fruit:
4 cups Thomcord grapes, stemmed
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Cream
Raw sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a bowl combine the grapes, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch.
3. Pour the mixture into the pie crust.
4. Top with the second pie crust, crimp or flute the edges, brush the top with cream, and sprinkle with raw sugar and slash 2 or 3 slits in the top.
5. Put the pie plate onto a lined baking sheet to catch any drips.
6. Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 375 and bake another 45 to 50 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.

Thomcord Sherbet

Serves 6:

2 pounds Thomcord grapes, stemmed
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1. In a Dutch oven, add the grapes along with the water. Cover, stirring from time to time, and cook until the grapes are soft.
2. Remove from heat and pass the grapes through a food mill with the attachment with the smallest holes.
3. If you don’t have a food mill, press them through a fine-mesh strainer, which will take a bit of force. Different grapes will yield differing amounts of juice. You should have 3 cups.
1. Add the sugar, and corn syrup, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Chill thoroughly, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Dragon Fruit Ambrosia

Serves 6:

1 dragon fruit, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 pluots, pitted and cut into chunks
2 peaches, pitted and cut into chunks
1/2 cup shredded coconut

1. In a blender, combine the dragon fruit, lime peel, juice, honey, and buttermilk. Taste and add more honey, or lime juice if needed. The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
2. In a bowl, combine the pluots and peaches.
3. Drizzle with the dressing, and garnish with coconut. Serve cold.

Dragon Fruit Smoothie

Makes two 8-ounce smoothies:

2 cups chopped kale (tough stems removed)
1 dragon fruit, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
1 can (13.66 ounces) Lite Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder
1 to 2 tablespoons honey, to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender, and puree until smooth. Serve garnished with mint.

@Diane Phillips www.dianephillips.com Blog: www.cucinadivina.blogspot.com
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