This week’s local produce and featured farms:
Yellow Corn – Tamai Farms
Cucumbers – Tutti Frutti Farms
Japanese Eggplant – D’Acquisto Family Farms
Seedless Concord Grapes – Murray Family Farms
Salanova Mixed Lettuce – Terra Madre Gardens
Beefsteak Tomatoes – D’Acquisto Family Farms
Roma Tomatoes – D’Acquisto Family Farms
Japanese Sweet Potatoes – Milliken Family Farms
Green Muscat Grapes – Murray Family Farms
Hungarian Hot Peppers – Beylik Family Farms
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Farmers’ Market Box Recipes
Asian Chicken and Spicy Eggplant
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 pound Japanese eggplant, stem and root ends removed, cut into 1-inch dice
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 pound ground chicken or turkey (or tofu)
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1⁄2 teaspoon sesame oil for garnish
3 scallions finely chopped for garnish
2 cups steamed rice for serving
1. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet and fry the eggplant till golden brown on all sides. Remove and drain on paper towels.
2. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the wok, saute the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds, and add the ground turkey or chicken, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink.
3. Add the eggplant back to the skillet.
4. In a small bowl, combine the oyster sauce, soy, vinegar, sugar, chili garlic sauce, and cornstarch mixture. Pour into the skillet and stir to combine. Bring to a boil to thicken the sauce.
5. Serve the eggplant mixture garnished with a drizzle of sesame sauce, and scallions. This is delicious over rice.
Ginger Sesame Eggplant
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grated ginger
3 large scallions, chopped, green and white parts divided
1 pound Japanese eggplant, sliced into thin rounds
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 to 2 tablespoons sesame oil for garnish
2 teaspoons sesame seeds for garnish
1. Heat canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or wok. Add garlic, ginger, and white parts of scallions and cook for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.
2. Stir in eggplant slices and cook for about 5 minutes, until eggplant has softened.
3. In a small bowl combine soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar and cornstarch.
4. Once eggplants have softened, pour sauce into pan and bring to a boil, stirring to make sure all vegetables are coated.
5. Reduce heat and cook for 5-6 additional minutes until sauce has thickened.
6. Remove from heat and top with scallion greens before serving. Drizzle the eggplant with sesame oil, and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.
Panzanella Sicilian Style
4 cups day old baguette cut into cubes
1 pound Beefsteak tomatoes, cored, and diced
2 cucumbers diced
1/2 cup green olives chopped
1/4 cup capers, drained and chopped if large
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. In a large bowl, combine the baguette cubes, Kumato, cucumber, olives, and capers.
2. In another bowl, whisk together the vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Pour over the salad and toss to combine. Serve the salad at room temperature.
4. Panzanella is best made 3 to 4 hours ahead so that that the bread can absorb all the flavors.
Makes about 4 cups
In Italy, when summer tomatoes are at their peak, Nonna’s roast the tomatoes from the garden to keep on hand for the winter when tomatoes aren’t available. This is a great base for tomato sauces, soups, topping for bruschetta and freezes beautifully.
1 pound Roma tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters
1 pound beef steak tomatoes, cored, and quartered
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, crushed
1/2 cup chopped red onion
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll pan with a silicone liner, or aluminum foil.
2. Put the tomatoes in a large glass bowl. Stir in the olive oil, basil, rosemary, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, being careful not to tear the tomatoes.
3. Pour onto the prepared pan, spreading it out in a single layer. Bake until the tomato liquid is absorbed, and the tomatoes have firmed up and turn a deep red color, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, checking to make sure that the tomatoes and garlic don’t brown.
4. Transfer the tomato mixture to a clean glass bowl and let it mellow at room temperature for about 6 hours.
Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature before continuing.
Concord Grape Cheesecake Bars
4 cups concord grapes, washed, and stems removed
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Cook the concord grapes in a saucepan 5-8 minutes, stirring and mashing frequently with a spoon. Once your mixture is almost completely mashed and resembles jam, remove from heat.
Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the mixture into a small bowl, pressing down with a wooden spoon to get the most liquid and pulp as possible. Once you have about 1/2 cup set aside to cool and discard the skins and seeds.
For the Cheesecake Bars
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 18 whole crackers)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1. To make the crust, in a large bowl, combine the crust ingredients and press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Set aside.
Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup grape syrup (above)
2. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl, using with an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat until the filling is smooth. Pour into the crust, dollop the filling with some of the grape mixture and swirl it through the filling, like marbling. Bake until set, 35 to 40 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and immediately cut into squares. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before serving. Cheesecake is best at room temperature. To store the cheesecake, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Concord Grape Focaccia
2 envelopes active dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm whole milk
1 tablespoon sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/3 cup, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup Concord grapes, seeded, halved or quartered
1 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
Fleur de Sel
1 egg, beaten well
1. In a large bowl or the work bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast in the milk and add 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 cup of the flour. Mix well, cover bowl with tea towel and let stand in a warm place about 15 minutes for the yeast to activate. Place risen dough in mixer, set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add rosemary. Add grapes, and raisins, mix together and allow to cool.
3. Begin to mix the dough, slowly, and mix another 4 cups of flour into the yeast mixture with the dough hook attachment, then add a pinch of Fleur de Sel.
4. Add half of the olive oil/grape mixture into dough. Knead until smooth with hands. Form the dough into a ball. Place some olive oil in large bowl to coat the sides.
5. Place dough ball into bowl, and cover with tea towel. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise in refrigerator until doubled in bulk about 45 minutes, or up to overnight for a fuller rise.
6. The next day, take the risen dough, and place in mixing bowl. With more olive oil from the grape/raisin mixture, press dough down into a flat disk with the heel of your hand. Using your fingertips, nudge the dough into a rectangle. The dough can be rolled but the pressure will produce heavier bread. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and brush with the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil. Cover with towel, and let rise again until doubled, 30 to 40 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
8. Bake 15 minutes then remove from the oven and brush with the egg. Sprinkle with the remaining grape mixture then the remaining sugar.
9. Top with lemon zest and finish with some Fleur de Sel.
10. Return to the oven and continue to bake until golden brown on top and crisp on the bottom, about 7 or 8 minutes. Let cool in the pan before cutting.
Cook’s Note: This focaccia is delicious served with salty cheeses, or cured meats such as prosciutto and salami.
Not Your Mama’s Sweet Potatoes
1 pound Japanese sweet potatoes, scrubbed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 to 4 tablespoons milk or cream
4 strips thick cut bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Salt and pepper
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1. Put the potatoes into a water to cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until tender.
2. Cool slightly, remove the skins, and put the flesh into a mixing bowl.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray,
4. In a skillet, heat the butter, and saute the onion until it is almost caramelized, turning a light golden brown.
5. Transfer to the bowl with the potatoes, mash the potatoes with a fork, or potato mashed, add some cream or milk to make a smooth mixture. Stir in the bacon. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust.
6. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, sprinkle with the cheese, and bake for 20 to 35 minutes until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are cooked through. Serve with poultry, pork or seafood.
Salanova with Pecorino Vinaigrette
One bag Salanova, washed, and spun dry
2 cucumbers, scrubbed, peeled and finely chopped
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
1/3 cup Champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1. In a salad bowl, combine the Salanova and cucumbers.
2. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve.
3. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Corn and Spinach Frittata
6 strips bacon, cooked crisp, and crumbled
1 tablespoon butter
2 green onions, chopped, using some of the light green part
1 cup corn cut from the cob
1 cup packed baby spinach
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, defrosted
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a 10-inch sauté pan, melt the butter and sauté the onions for 1 minute. Add the corn, spinach, salt, pepper and nutmeg sautéing until the mixture is dry.
3. Set the mixture aside and allow it to cool.
4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, add the cheese, hash browns reserved bacon and the corn mixture, stirring to blend.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the mixture is set. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into squares. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
Roasted Grape Shortcakes
Although I am using grapes here, the master recipe is delicious using stone fruits (cut into wedges) cherries, or strawberries.
1 pound Muscat grapes, cut in half
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1. Line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil, or parchment, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the ingredients in a bowl, tossing to coat, and spread onto the baking sheet in one layer.
2. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until the grapes begin to split. Remove from the baking sheet to a bowl and allow to cool. (you can make these ahead and refrigerate for up 4 days.
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, silicone or aluminum foil and preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Place the zest and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a large bowl. Rub between your fingertips until sugar is aromatic.
3. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and stir with a fork.
4. Add the butter and use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour mixture until it forms pea-sized pieces.
5. Drizzle in the cream and mix with a fork until combined. (Dough will be sticky.)
6. Form dough into 8 large, tall mounds using a large spoon or ice cream scoop and space 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet (the taller the mounds of dough, the easier they will be to slice in half).
7. Sprinkle the top of the biscuits with remaining 1 teaspoon sugar.
8. Bake until the bottoms of the biscuits are deeply golden, and the tops are lightly brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
9. Allow to cool.
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces mascarpone
1. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream until stiff, add the mascarpone, and whip until blended. Add sugar to taste.
2. Split the shortcakes, dollop some of the cream on the bottom of the cake, top with some of the roasted grapes, and the top of the shortcake. Garnish with whipped cream, and drizzle with some of the grape liquid from the pan.
Spicy Cheese Dip
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped cored and seeded Hungarian hot peppers
2 Roma tomatoes, cored, and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
1. In a saucepan, heat the butter, saute the onion, garlic and peppers, until the onion and peppers begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, cumin and oregano and saute until the tomatoes are softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Lower the heat under the saucepan, add the cream cheese, cheddar and Monterey Jack, stirring until the cheeses are melted.
4. Season with salt, stir in the cilantro or parsley and serve warm with tortilla chips and/or pita chips.
5. Cook’s note: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Buy a round loaf of sourdough or other hard crusted bread, slice off the top, hollow out the bread leaving a 1/2-inch shell inside. Put the warm dip into the bread, place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes until bubbly. The bread will keep the dip warm for about 1 hour.
Makes 1 quart
1 pound Hungarian peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch rings
2 shallots, thinly sliced (you can sub in sweet yellow onion 1/2-cup or red onion here)
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 cups distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
Big pinch of salt
1. Pack the peppers into a quart jar with the shallots and garlic slices.
2. In a saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar and water, until the sugar dissolves.
3. Pour over the peppers and shallots seal the jar, cool and refrigerate at least 2 days before serving. The peppers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
4. These can be processed in a water bath, check online for details.
@Diane Philips www.dianephillips.com Blog: www.cucinadivina.blogspot.com
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