This week’s local produce and featured farms:
Fuji Apples – Fair Hills Apple Farm
Eggplant – Point Loma Farms
Arugula – Terra Madre Gardens
Baby Mixed Lettuce – Terra Madre Gardens
Ambrosia Melon – Munak Ranch
Red Yams – Fresno Evergreen
Dapple Dandy Pluots – Frog Hollow Farm
Beefsteak Tomatoes – Tamai Family Farms
Passion Fruit – Koral’s Tropical Fruit Farm
Bartlett Pears – Penryn Orchards
Brown Turkey Figs – People’s Plus Farms
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Farmers’ Market Box Recipes
1 pound beefsteak tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
Salt and pepper
1 cup packed basil leaves
1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. On a serving platter, alternate the tomato and mozzarella slices. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Tuck a leaf of basil between the tomatoes and mozzarella. Thinly slice the rest of the basil, and scatter over the platter.
3. Liberally drizzle the oil over the tomatoes and cheese. Serve at room temperature.
1 eggplant, sliced 1/2-inch thick (skin on)
1 to 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
Two 28-ounce cans San Marzano plum tomatoes, crushed, or pureed (we pureed)
½ teaspoon fresh oregano, rinsed and finely chopped or ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
10 leaves basil, rinsed, dried and finely chopped
1/2 pound short tubular pasta such as penne or rigatoni
1/2 pound sliced mozzarella or caciocavallo cheese
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino cheese, finely grated
1. Toss the eggplant slices in a couple of teaspoons of sea salt and let sit in a colander for 30 minutes in the sink.
2. Meanwhile line an 8-inch round baking dish with aluminum foil and coat the inside with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Preheat the broiler. Line baking sheets with foil, lay the eggplant onto the foil brush with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until golden brown. Repeat using all the eggplant.
4. When cool enough to handle, line the pan with the eggplant, overlapping the slices slightly to cover the bottom and sides. Leave enough to cover the top. Leave longer slices on the sides to fold over the top when finished.
5. Bring 8 quarts of salted water to a boil.
6. Separately, in a large saucepan film the bottom with extra virgin olive oil, fry the garlic, onions and tomatoes in the olive oil until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
7. Add the crushed tomatoes, cover and cook for 30 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken.
8. Add the oregano, basil and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.
9. Boil the pasta, cook for the amount of time indicated on the package minus about 3 minutes. Drain the pasta and mix with the tomato sauce. You want to the pasta to be wet, but not drowning. We used about 4 cups per pound of pasta. Any leftover can be serving on the side.
10. Pour half of the tomato pasta into the eggplant lined tin.
11. Top evenly with the cheeses.
12. Add the remaining tomato pasta.
13. Fold the long slices on the sides over the top of the pasta, filling in with the rest of the eggplant. Cover, cool and refrigerate, or bake as directed. You can make this the day before and refrigerate, just take it out about 1 hour before baking.
14. Set the pan onto a baking sheet to catch any drips.
15. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove and let sit for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a plate. Slice with a serrated knife into wedges. Serve any remaining sauce on the side.
Baby Lettuce Salad with Roasted Apples, Pecans and Blue Cheese
1 bag baby lettuces, washed and spun dry
1 pound Fuji apples, cored and cut into 8 wedges
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup toasted pecan halves
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1. Put the lettuce into a salad bowl.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil, or parchment.
3. Dip the cut edges of the apples into the sugar, and put onto the baking sheets.
4. Roast for 10 to 20 minutes until the apples are golden brown. Remvoe from the oven and allow to cool.
5. In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, shallot and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Toss the lettuce with some of the dressing, and plate the salad.
Sprinkle with the pecans and blue cheese, and drizzle with a bit more of the dressing if desired.
Farro Salad with Pancetta, Pecorino and Arugula
2 cups pearlized farro
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
One 1/2-inch piece pancetta, cut into fine dice
6 ounces soft fresh pecorino cheese, cut into a fine dice (if pecorino isn’t available, try Asiago, or another soft salty cheese)
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 cup packed arugula, coarsely chopped
1. Bring 4 quarts salted water to a boil, and add the farro. Cook for 15 minutes, until barely tender. (Farro breaks apart a bit like wild rice) Drain and cool the farro transfer to a large bowl.
2. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the pancetta, cooking over medium high heat until crispy.
3. Remove from the pan, and add to the farro.
4. Add the pecorino, and zest, and toss to combine.
5. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the remaining olive oil over the salad, and toss to blend. Add more lemon juice if desired. Season with salt, pepper, and toss in the arugula. Serve the salad at room temperature.
Cook’s Note: If you want to make the salad ahead, do not add the lemon juice, oil or arugula. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving and toss with the remaining ingredients.
Cook’s Note: If fresh pecorino (soft) is not available, use Asiago instead.
Note on Farro: Many people call farro spelt or emmer wheat, but farro is farro, not either of the others. It is a wheat-like grain but with a low gluten index. Pearlized farro cooks faster than the non-pearlized; although I have not found non-pearlized in the US.
Prosciutto, Melon and Mint Salad
1/4 pound prosciutto di Parma, thinly sliced, then cut into julienne
One ambrosia melon, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
1/2 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1. In a salad bowl, combine the prosciutto, melon, mint and oil, tossing to combine.
2. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and serve.
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups self rising flour
4 to 6 pluots, cut in half and pitted
1. Coat the inside of a 10-inch (25cm) spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Add the flour, and stir to blend.
5. Transfer to the prepared pan, and arrange the pluots skin side up in a decorative pattern, cutting some to fit into small spaces, the more pluotss you have the better.
6. Bake for 1 hour Test at 1 hour, a skewer inserted into the batter should come out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing the pan.
Serve slightly warm.
Garnet Yam and Apple Gratin
1 1/2 pounds Garnet yams
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons cream sherry
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 medium-size apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prick the yams with the sharp point of a paring knife in a few places.
2. Put the yams into the oven, and roast for 45 to 50 minutes until they are soft when squeezed with an oven mitt.
3. Split the yams and scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl, beat until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of butter, the brown sugar, corn syrup, sherry, cinnamon and nutmeg and blend until creamy.
4. Spread half the mixture in a 9-inch baking dish.
5. Arrange half the apple slices over the yam layer and brush with some of the remaining butter.
6. The butter will seal the apples and prevent discoloration. Spread the remaining sweet potato mixture over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top in an attractive pattern. Brush with the remaining butter, covering the apples completely.
7. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost and bring to room temperature before continuing.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the dish, uncovered, until the apples are golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
Garnet Yam Hash
4 slices thick cut bacon, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, small diced
3 cups diced garnet yams (about 1/3-inch dice)
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
A few dashes Tabasco and salt
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat cook the bacon until it is crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a bowl. Discard all but 1 Tbs. fat.
2. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the sweet potatoes, broth, and butter to the onions.
4. Simmer, uncovered, until the sweet potatoes are just barely tender, about 6 minutes.
5. Meanwhile mix the parsley, maple syrup, thyme, and Tabasco with the bacon.
6. When the potatoes are barely tender, add the bacon mixture, cook over medium-high heat, firmly patting the hash down and then occasionally flipping, scraping the bottom of the pan with a metal spatula and patting down again, until the broth has completely evaporated, and the hash is nicely browned, about 8 minutes (reduce the heat if the hash is browning too quickly).
7. Season to taste with salt, and hot sauce.
8. Carefully arrange the eggs on top of the hash, sprinkle the eggs with the cheese, and bake for 4 to 6 minutes until the eggs are set and the cheese is melted. Serve with additional Tabasco if desired.
Passion Fruit Meringue
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons lemon rind, finely grated
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh passionfruit pulp
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups milk
4 eggs, separated
3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream, whipped stiffly for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Place butter, lemon rind, lemon juice, passionfruit pulp, sugar, flour, milk and egg yolks in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Using a metal spoon, fold 1/4 of the egg white into lemon mixture. Gently fold in remaining egg white.
4. Spoon mixture into prepared dish.
5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and just set.
6. Meanwhile, make meringue using an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar,1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture is thick and glossy.
7. Preheat the broiler, dollop meringue over pudding. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden Serve immediately with whipped cream garnish.
Slow Cooker Poached Pears
1 cup full bodied red wine
1 cup ruby port
1 ½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
3 large pears, cored and cut in half
6 ounces Stilton cheese
1. Combine the wine, port, brown sugar and cinnamon in the insert of a 5 to 7-quart slow cooker.
2. Add the pears to the cooker, you will have to arrange them in layers, and spoon some of the sauce over the pears.
3. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 2 ½ hours, until the pears are softened. Uncover the slow cooker and allow the pears to come to room temperature.
4. Carefully remove them from the cooker and arrange them on a platter.
5. Strain the sauce into a saucepan, discarding any solids.
Bring the sauce to a boil, and boil for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sauce becomes syrupy. Spoon the syrup over the pears on the platter, and scoop a bit of Stilton into the center of each pear. Serve at room temperature.
Turkey Figs and Prosciutto
/4 pound thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma or San Danielle
3 brown turkey figs, cut into quarters
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1. Wrap 1/2 slices of prosciutto around fig quarters and arrange on a serving platter.
2. Drizzle the wrapped figs with the vinegar. Garnish with the shaved Parmigiano and serve.
Passion Fruit Pudding
2 fresh passion fruits yielding 1/4 cup passion fruit pulp
¼ cup passion fruit puree
1 cup granulated sugar
⅓-cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, separated
⅓ cup melted butter
¾ cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
1Tablespoon rum (optional)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together ⅔ granulated sugar, salt and flour. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, butter, milk, rum, lime zest, lime juice and passion fruit puree, and pulp until fully combined.
4. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and whisk to just combine.
5. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites for about a minute then add sugar and continue mixing on medium-high until stiff peaks form, this may take about 2-3 more minutes.
6. Using a spatula carefully fold in ¼ of the egg whites mixture, and then fold in the remaining until well incorporated.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan bake until the top of the cake turns light golden and 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.
Serves with crème fraiche or unsweetened whipped cream
@Diane Philips www.dianephillips.com Blog: www.cucinadivina.blogspot.com
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