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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