Farmer’s Market Box February 22nd, 2024

February 21, 2024 0 Comments

Weekly Farmers Market Box at Specialty Produce

This week local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Market Box Recipes

Marinated Red Onions

Makes about 4 cups
These onions are terrific on burgers, in sandwiches or wraps, as a garnish for salads, or on crostini.
2 large red onions, cut in half and thinly sliced into half-moons (about 3 cups)
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
  1. Place the onions in a glass bowl.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, oil, pepper flakes, oregano, salt, and pepper. Pour over the onions. At this point, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
  3. Drain the onions. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Caramelized Onion Upside Down Snacks

Serves 4
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 red onions thinly sliced.
1 sheet puff pastry defrosted and kept cold.
Honey for drizzling
4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1 wedge (about 4 ounces) brie cheese
3 to 4 tablespoons fig jam (Try the SP balsamic fig jam-I used it for testing).
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a skillet, heat the butter, and sauté the onions, until they are caramelized, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly.
  3. Cut the puff pastry into 9 squares.
  4. On the baking sheet, drizzle a bit of the honey in 9 places on the parchment.  Top with a few thyme leaves, top with some of the onions (about a heaping tablespoon), a slice or two of brie, and fig jam. Repeat until all nine places on the sheet have all the ingredients stacked. Put the puff pastry over each stack and crimp the edges to the parchment.
  5. Bake the pastries for 20 to 25 minutes until they are golden brown.
  6. Turn the pastries over and serve warm.

Pomelo Cake

Makes one 9-inch bundt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature.
2 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1 teaspoon grated pomelo zest
5 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
½ cup pomelo juice
2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar, until it is light and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla, zest, and the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Mix the sour cream and juice together and add the flour, baking soda and salt, beating until the mixture comes together and is smooth. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Transfer the cake pan to rack and cool for exactly 10 minutes; then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Drizzle with Icing. (see below)

The cake keeps wrapped tightly at room temperature for up to 4 days or freezes well for about 2 months.

Pomelo Icing
1 ½ to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons Pomelo juice
  1. Whisk the sugar in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Add the juice, and stir until the mixture is smooth, and of a pourable consistency.
  3. Drizzle the icing over the cooled cake.

Farro Salad with Pancetta, Pecorino and Arugula

Serves 6
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. 
  6. 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. 
  7. 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. 

Crostini with Arugula Pesto

Serves 6
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.
Arugula Pesto
Makes 1 1/2 to 2 cups
1 cup packed arugula leaves
1 cup Marcona almonds
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup 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 a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients except the oil, pulsing to break up the nuts, and parsley.
  2. With the machine running at 1/2 cup of the oil and add more if needed. This should be a paste, not a runny pesto. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  3. Remove from the machine and pour into an airtight container, spooning 1 to 2 tablespoons of the oil over the top of the pesto, to preserve its green color.
  4. Refrigerate for up to 1 week, freeze for up to 3 months.
  5. Cooks’ Note:  The pesto is terrific on baguette slices, or tossed into pasta, potato salad, or grilled steak.

Arugula Salad with Kumquat Dressing

Serves 4
6 Kumquats
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
Salt and pepper
1 bunch arugula, washed, and spun dry.
1 pomelo, peel and pith removed, and segmented.
2 thin slices red onion
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese for garnish (optional)
  1. In a blender, combine the kumquats, vinegar, oil, and honey. Blend until pureed. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed.
  2. Dress the arugula with the dressing, plate the arugula, garnish with pomelo segments, red onion, and goat cheese. Drizzle with a bit of the dressing and serve.

Bahn Mi Meatballs with Slaw

Serves 6
Instead of the typical sandwich, make these delicious meatballs and then serve on a bed of Asian Slaw.
For the Meatballs

1/2-pound ground pork
1/2-pound ground chicken or turkey
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil.
2 garlic cloves, minced.
2 green onions, finely chopped, using the white part only.
1 tablespoon fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
1 teaspoon salt
Oil for frying.
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients, until blended.
  2. Using a portion scoop form into golf ball sized meatballs.
  3. Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet, and fry the meat balls, turning frequently, to evenly brown.  When cooked through, remove to paper toweling, and drain thoroughly.
For the Slaw
2 cups radicchio cut into ½-inch ribbons.
4 rainbow carrots, peeled and cut into thin ribbons.
3 to 4 Easter egg radishes cut into julienne (1 1/2 cups)
½ cup red onion, finely chopped 
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
  1. In a bowl, combine the vegetables.
  2. In another bowl whisk together the vinegar, sugar, and fish sauce, until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour over the slaw and toss to coat.
  4. Spread the slaw onto a serving platter and top with the meatballs.

Vanilla Butter Roasted Delicata Squash

Serves 4
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste 
1-pound Delicata squash scrubbed, seeded cut in half lengthwise and sliced 1/2 inch thick
¼ cup thinly sliced sage leaves
Salt and pepper
Fleur de Sel 
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a small saucepan, combine the butter and vanilla bean paste and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is deeply browned and has a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes.
  2. On a baking sheet, drizzle the squash and sage leaves with the vanilla browned butter, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for about 25 minutes, turning once, until the squash is golden in spots and tender. Arrange on a serving platter sprinkle with fleur de Sel and serve.

Delicata Chips with Blue Cheese Dip

Serves 6
1-pound Delicata squash, halved, seeded, and sliced ½-inch thick
½ to ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line 2 baking sheets with parchment, aluminum foil, or silicone.
  2. Toss the squash with the oil, and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes turning once during the cooking time. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit before serving. 4. The chips can be made ahead, cooled, and stored ahead in airtight containers.
  4. Serve the chips with your favorite dip or this blue cheese dip is a winner.
Blue Cheese Dip

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Four ounces blue cheese, crumbled. 
  1. In a medium-size bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, Worcestershire, dry mustard, pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. Fold in the blue cheese and stir until blended.
  3. Do-Ahead: At this point, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to let the flavors develop and up to 5 days.

Onion Balsamic Braised Easter Egg Radishes

Serves 4 to 6
1 tablespoon butter
2 slices bacon, diced
2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1-pound radishes, tops trimmed, and radishes sliced in half
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water or broth
2/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  1. Heat the butter and bacon over medium-high heat in a wide, oven proof heavy skillet.
  2. Cook for about 5 minutes. When the bacon is cooked through and crispy, place the radishes cut side down in the pan and cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes or until the bottoms begin to brown. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for another minute.
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar and the water/broth, the water should just come up around the sides of the radishes. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the radishes are tender.
  4. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced into a syrupy sauce. Add the parsley and stir to wilt. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Romanesco Cauliflower Cheese

Serves 4 to 6
One head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced.
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot.
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup milk or cream
2 cups shredded cheese (your choice here—you can mix and match, too:  I love aged Gouda; sharp cheddar—yellow or white; provolone; blue cheese; or Pecorino Romano)
Salt and Tabasco
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Put the cauliflower into water to cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes till crisp/tender.
  3. Drain thoroughly and transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  4. In a saucepan, heat the butter, sauté the garlic and shallot for 3 to 4 minutes till the shallot is softened.
  5. Add the flour and cook whisking for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the broth and milk and bring to a boil, all the while whisking till smooth.
  7. Remove from the heat add the cheese(se) and season with salt and Tabasco.
  8. Pour the cheese mixture over the cauliflower and bake for 30 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.

Rosalba Salad with Fuji Apples and Manchego

Serves 4
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
¾ pound Rosalba radicchio halved, cored, and chopped into 1/2-inch ribbons
2 Fuji apples, cored, and thinly sliced.
6 ounces Manchego cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegars, onion, honey, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a salad bowl, toss the radicchio with the dressing, plate the radicchio on a serving platter.
  3. Arrange the apples and Manchego on the radicchio and drizzle with some of the dressing and serve.

Slow Cooker Chicken with Apples

Serves 4 to 6
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
5 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges.
2 medium red onions, cut into half-moons.
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2 chicken bouillon cubes or 2 teaspoons Better than Bouillon chicken base
8 slices thick cut (Applewood smoked) bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces.
8 chicken breast halves, skin and bones removed.
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter and sauté the apples, onions and thyme until the onions begin to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the mustard, sugar and cider, and transfer to the insert of a 5 to 7-quart slow cooker. Add the bouillon cubes, crushing them to dissolve, and set the cooker on warm while you sauté the chicken.
  2. Wipe out the skillet, and cook the bacon until crisp, draining it on paper towels. Sprinkle the chicken with the pepper, and brown the chicken in the bacon drippings, transferring to the slow cooker insert. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, until the chicken is cooked though, and the apples are tender. Stir in the cream, reserved bacon, and parsley, and serve on the warm setting.

Caramel Apple French Toast

Serves 6 to 8
For the Sauce
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream
  1. Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan or saucier over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar and continue stirring until it dissolves. Add the cream and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce boils.
  2. Coat the inside of two 9-inch pie plates, with non-stick cooking spray. Pour a layer of the sauce over the bottom of the pie plates and set aside. Set the remaining sauce aside, or cool cover and refrigerate.
For the French Toast
4 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
8 cups torn egg bread or good quality white bread
6 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.
1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract 
  1. Arrange the apples on the caramel sauce, in a decorative pattern.
  2. Put the bread in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium-size bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, cinnamon-sugar, and vanilla. Pour over the bread and mix well.
  4. Pour the bread mixture carefully over the apples in the pans dividing it evenly. At this point you can cover the French toast and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350° bake until puffed and golden, 45 to 55 minutes.
  6. Let rest for 5 minutes, then turn out onto serving platters and pour the remaining warm sauce over the French toast and serve.

Cottage Pie

Serves 6
For the Potatoes
1 pound Satina potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks.
2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper.
heavy cream or milk or sour cream
  1. Put the potatoes into salted water to cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Drain thoroughly, and mash with 2 tablespoons of butter, season with salt and pepper. You want a really stiff mash here, if your potatoes are really stiff add a few tablespoons of heavy cream, milk or sour cream to the mash.
  3. Spread the mash about 1/2-inch thick onto a Silpat on a baking sheet.
  4. Cool, cover, and refrigerate to firm up the potatoes.
For the Stew
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper.
1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, fat trimmed.
1 /2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 rainbow carrots, scraped and cut into large dice.
2 ribs celery, cut into large dice.
2 garlic cloves, minced.
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup Better Than Bouillon Beef base (or use 2 ½ cups beef broth)
2 cups water
3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups corn kernels, either cut from the cob or frozen and defrosted.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter mixed with 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small bits.
  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, liberally season the beef with salt and pepper, and brown the meat on all sides.
  2. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and sage, and sauté until the onion is softened.
  3. Add the tomato paste, and beef base, and simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the water, Worcestershire, and bay leaf, and stir to blend.
  5. Cover and simmer for 3 hours, or until the beef is tender. Add the corn, and bring the sauce to a simmer, Remove the bay leaf.
  6. Whisk in the butter and flour mixture, bringing the sauce to a boil, until thickened.
  7. Season the sauce with salt and pepper if needed.
  8. Do-Ahead:  At this point, the stew can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 2 months.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone or aluminum foil.
  10. Pour the stew into an ovenproof 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
  11. Using the Silpat, transfer the potatoes to the top of the stew. Dot the top of the potatoes with the remaining butter, and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown.
  12. Allow the cottage pie to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  13. Slow-Cooker Savvy: To make the stew in the slow cooker, sauté all the ingredients before adding the tomato paste. Transfer to the slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours. To thicken, add the butter/flour mixture, and cook another hour on high.

Roasted Smashed Potatoes with Herbed Goat Cheese

Serves 6 
1 pound Santina potatoes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
One 11-ounce log of goat cheese
1/2 cup chopped mixed herbs---I’m fond of thyme, Italian parsley, oregano, basil and chives.
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment, aluminum foil, or silicone.  Pour the oil, salt and pepper onto the baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Put the potatoes into a Dutch oven with water to cover. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes, until tender. Remove from the water and arrange on the baking sheet.
  3. Using an oven mitt, press down on each potato, smashing it, brush with some of the oil to coat the tops of the potatoes. Roast the potatoes for 15 minutes.
  4. Cut the log of goat cheese into rounds, and dip into the mixed herbs. Place a round on each of the potatoes and bake an additional 15 minutes until the potatoes are crispy and the goat cheese has melted.
  5. Serve hot.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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