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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