Farmers’ Market Box September 2nd

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This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Broccoli Chicken Bake

Serves 4 to 6

1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets (save the stems)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 chicken breasts, skin and bones removed
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup milk, half and half or heavy cream (or for non-dairy more broth)
Salt and pepper
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, and blanch the broccoli for 2 minutes, drain thoroughly, and season with salt and pepper.
2. Coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and layer the broccoli in the bottom of the casserole dish.
3. In a large skillet, melt the butter and oil, season the chicken with salt and pepper, and brown the chicken on all sides (the chicken won’t be cooked through, but will finish in the oven)
4. Place the browned chicken on top of the broccoli.
5. In the same skillet add the onion and curry powder, and saute 1 minute. Stir in the flour, and cook for 2 minutes, whisking the mixture. Slowly add the broth and milk (if using) and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and additional curry powder if needed. Pour over the chicken and broccoli and sprinkle with the cheese. At this point the casserole can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for 24 hours.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (165 on an instant read meat thermometer) the sauce is bubbling, and the cheese is golden brown. Allow the bake to rest for 10 minutes before serving with rice.

Broccoli Stem Slaw

Serves 4:
If you don’t have stems on the broccoli, this also works with florets that are blanched for 2 minutes, then cooled.


2 cups broccoli stems, cut into julienne (peel the broccoli stems if tough)
2 cups grated rainbow carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped baby leeks
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1. In a bowl, combine the broccoli stems, carrots, and leeks.
2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, juice, honey, mustard, and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the poppy seeds before tossing and toss the salad with the dressing.

Indian Eggplant Bacon

Serves 4:

1/2 pound Indian eggplant, stem end removed, scrubbed
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment.
2. Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick lengthwise slices.
3. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, paprika, liquid smoke, and oil.
4. Arrange the eggplant on the parchment, and brush with the liquid.
5. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, flip the slices, brush with the remaining liquid, and roast another 10 minutes until crisp.
6. Use the “bacon” in BLT’s, crumble it in salads, or use as a garnish.

Pasta alla Norma

Serves 4 to 6:

1 pound penne or rigatoni, cooked 3 minutes short of al dente, saving some of the hot pasta water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 pound eggplant, stem and root ends removed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes and their juice
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
Salt and pepper
1 cup crumbled ricotta salata

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, saute the garlic, red pepper, and onion for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion begins to soften.
2. Add the eggplant and cook until the eggplant is golden brown.
3. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Add the basil, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. Add 1/2 of the ricotta and toss again.
6. Serve garnished with the remaining ricotta.

Grilled Vegetables with Herb Vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 6:

1/2 pound Italian eggplant, stem and root ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 pound zucchini, stem and root ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch long slices
1/2 pound baby leeks, root end removed, and cut in half lengthwise
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Arrange vegetable slices on baking sheet.
2. Brush both sides with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Grill until slightly charred and tender, turning occasionally and moving to cook evenly, about 5 minutes. Arrange the slices on a serving platter. Drizzle with your favorite dressing or the lemon vinaigrette.
Lemon Vinaigrette
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion or shallot
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a food processor or blender, combine the ingredients, and process/blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. It’s great as a drizzle over grilled meats, poultry, and vegetables.

Salmon Salad Nicoise Style

Serves 4 to 6

1 1/2 pound salmon filets
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound fingerling potatoes, diced
1/2 pound blue lake green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 bunch arugula, washed and spun dry
1 cup cucumbers, sliced, seeds removed if large
1/2 cup Nicoise olives, pitted, and chopped
1/2 cup finely baby leek, using the white and tender green parts

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil, silicone, or parchment paper, lay the salmon on the sheet pan, and brush with the oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Allow the salmon to cool and cut into chunks.
2. Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes and beans, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain, and cool.
3. In a mixing bowl whisk together the parsley, basil, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard. Arrange the arugula on a serving platter, drizzle with some of the dressing.
4. Dress the still warm potatoes and beans with some of the dressing.
5. Arrange the potatoes and beans on the arugula, then arrange the cucumbers olives and leek, on the potatoes and beans. Drizzle with some of the dressing, and top with the roasted salmon. Drizzle with any remaining dressing and serve.
6. Cook’s Note: this salad can be made with leftover grilled fish, or poultry. The traditional salad uses canned Italian tuna poached in olive oil.

Zucchini Fritters

Serves 4 to 6:

4 medium zucchini, grated on the large holes of a box grater
Salt
1 baby leek, finely chopped, using the white and tender green part
2 egg yolks, beaten
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying

1. Put the zucchini in a colander, and sprinkle with salt, allow the excess water to leach out from the zucchini. Squeeze the zucchini dry.
2. Put the dry zucchini, leek, egg yolks, flour and cheese in a mixing bowl and stir to blend.
3. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a large non-stick skillet, and using a portion scoop, fry 2 tablespoons of the zucchini mixture until the underside is golden, turn and cook until the other side is golden brown. Drain on paper toweling, and serve with minted cucumber yogurt dip (below)

Cucumber Yogurt Dip:
2 cups Greek Style yogurt
2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup finely chopped baby leek using the white and tender green parts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
Salt and pepper

1. In a mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients, seasoning with salt and pepper.
2. The dip will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Kale Caesar

Serves 4:
A make ahead salad; store in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, or up to 6 hours.


1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Greek Style yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Salt and pepper
2 cups garlic croutons, homemade or store bought

1. Fill a large bowl with warm water and soak the kale in the water to soften. Drain and spin dry in a salad spinner.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, Worcestershire, mustard, garlic, 1/4 cup Parmigiano and zest. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Dress the kale leaves with some of the dressing and toss to coat. Refrigerate the salad for at least 20 minutes, or up to 6 hours. Toss in the remaining Parmigiano and the croutons and serve.

Kale and Apple Slaw

Serves 6:

3 tablespoons white miso paste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 bunch kale tough stems removed and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1 Golden delicious apple, cored and grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1/2 cup total)
2 medium rainbow carrots, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1/2 cup total)

1. In a large bowl, combine the miso, lemon juice, vinegar, olive and sesame oils, and pepper to make a thick dressing.
2. Toss in the kale, apple, and carrots, and mix continuously for a couple of minutes to coat the kale very well. Make it at least an hour or two before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

Apple Cake with Caramel Pecan Sauce

Serves 8:

2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 pound Golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a sheet pan with silicone, or coat with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until blended.
4. Add the flour, baking soda, and spices and beat until just incorporated.
5. Stir in the apples, nuts, and vanilla. Scrape into the prepared pan.
6. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached to it, 35 to 40 minutes.
7. Set the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes.
8. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cool completely, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 6 weeks.
9. Reheat the chilled or defrosted cake, before serving, covered with aluminum foil, in a 350° F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Caramel Pecan Sauce:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup pecan halves
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream

1. Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Add the pecans and toast, stirring, for about 3 minutes.
3. Stir in the brown sugar and continue stirring until it melts.
4. Add the cream and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce boils.
5. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Reheat over medium heat.

Not Your Mama’s Green Bean Casserole

Serves 6:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped baby leeks, using the white and tender green parts
1/2 pound mushrooms
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cream sherry
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 cups water
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch lengths

1. In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring a few times, until the liquid from the mushrooms
has evaporated. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and onions and stir until blended. Cook stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until the flour is cooked.
2. Gradually stir in the broth and whisk until it comes to a boil. Add the cream and sherry and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
3. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before continuing.
4. Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the green beans, and return the water to a boil. Cook the beans until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the beans.
5. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can shock the beans under cold running water to cool them down. Drain, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Reheat, covered, in the microwave for 3 minutes or plunge into boiling water for 1 minute and drain before continuing.
6. To serve, place the warm green beans in a serving dish and pour the warm sauce over them.

Balsamic Peach, Fig and Buratta Platte

Serves 4 to 6:

1/2 pound peaches, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 pound black beauty figs, quartered
1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma, cut into julienne
8-ounces buratta, cut up
1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil

1. Arrange the peaches and figs on a serving platter. Sprinkle the prosciutto over the fruit. Arrange the buratta between the fruit.
2. Drizzle the platter with the balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with basil. Serve at room temperature.

Peach Tart

Serves 6

1 9-inch prebaked pie crust
1 cups heavy cream
8-ounces mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
3 peaches, pitted, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup apricot or peach jam

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Add the mascarpone and sugar and beat to combine.
2. Spread the mixture into the prepared pie crust.
3. Arrange the nectarines on top of the mascarpone.
4. Warm the jam and brush it over the nectarines to seal the fruit.
5. Refrigerate the pie for 2 hours. Serve cold.

Roasted Chicken and Figs

Serves 6:

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup honey
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 baby leeks, thinly sliced using the white and tender green parts
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
8 to 10 figs, stems trimmed, halved (quartered if large)

1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup water, the vinegar, and cornstarch. Whisk in honey and set aside. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
2. Heat a heavy 12- to 14-in. ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
3. Add oil and swirl to coat, then add chicken skin side down and brown until skin is deep golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn over and brown other side, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a plate, cover with aluminum foil and set aside.
4. Reduce heat to medium, and cook leeks until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add cornstarch mixture, chopped basil, and remaining 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper; cook until mixture bubbles and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Set chicken skin side up in frying pan and add figs. Roast in oven until figs soften and caramelize slightly and meat is no longer pink at bone, about 15 minutes and serve.

Pork Tenderloin with Peach Barbecue Sauce

Serves 4 to 6:

For the Sauce
:
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 cup chopped red onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeño
1/2 pound fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1/4cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup bourbon
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
Salt and pepper

1. In a saucepan, heat the oil, and saute the onion and jalapeno for 2 minutes.
2. Add the peaches, vinegar, bourbon, honey, mustard, sugar, and dry mustard.
3. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes until thickened.
4. Using a potato masher or immersion blender, smooth out the sauce. At this point, the sauce can cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 1 week.

For the Pork:
Two 1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
4 cups water
4 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Put the pork tenderloins into a large zip-lock bag.
2. In a mixing bowl, dissolve the salt and sugar in the water. Pour over the pork, seal the bag, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 12 hours.
3. Discard the water in the bag, rinse the tenderloin, and pat dry.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In an ovenproof skillet, heat the oil, and brown the tenderloins on all sides.
5. Generously brush with the glaze, and roast until an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 155 degrees.
6. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
7. Slice the tenderloin, and brush with some of the remaining glaze. Serve any glaze warmed on the side.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers Market Box August 26th 2021

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This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Absolutely the Best Carrot Cake

Makes 24 cupcakes, two 9-inch round/square layers, or one 13-by-9-inch pan:

1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
3 cups thinly shredded carrots
One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add the carrots, pineapple and juice, and nuts, stirring until blended. Add the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. CUPCAKES 20 MINUTES.
3. Place the pan on a rack and let cool completely. Spread the top of the cake with the cream cheese frosting.
4. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Makes 6 cups, enough to frost two 9-inch layers, one 13 x 9-inch cake, or 48 cupcakes

One 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine
5 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
Milk, as needed
1. Using an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese and butter in a medium-size bowl. Add the confectioners’ sugar and extracts and beat until the mixture is of spreadable consistency. If the frosting is too thick, beat in some milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
2. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months. I recommend you soften it at room temperature after it’s been refrigerated, so it’s easy to spread.

Stir Fried Chinese Eggplant

Serves 4:

2 Chinese eggplants, cut into bite sized pieces
salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon grated ginger
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil

1. Put the eggplant pieces into a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. Set aside while you assemble the other ingredients.
2. Rinse the eggplant pieces and heat the oil in a wok or large skillet.
3. Add the eggplant and stir fry until the pieces are golden brown.
4. Remove from the wok, add the garlic and ginger, swirl in the oil, adding the soy sauce, sugar, and the eggplant back into the pan. Toss to combine.

Spicy Chinese Eggplant and Ground Pork

Serves 4:

2 Chinese eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch dice
pinch of salt
1/2 pound minced pork
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon Mirin rice wine
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
One 1-inch piece ginger, sliced
2 green onions, white half and green half divided
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (or to taste)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1. Put the eggplant into a large colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Rinse the eggplant, and dry.
2. While the eggplant is salted, mix together the pork, ginger and Mirin. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
3. In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil, and cook the eggplant until it is golden. Remove from the wok.
4. Add the pork and cook until it is no longer pink. Remove from the work and mix with the eggplant.
5. Add the garlic, ginger and white of the green onion to the wok and stir fry for 1 minute.
6. Add the chili garlic sauce, soy, sugar, and sesame oil. Add the eggplant and pork back to the wok and stir fry another 2 minutes. Garnish with the green part of the scallions and serve over rice.

Vegan Chinese Eggplant Bacon

1/2 pound Chinese eggplant, stem end removed, scrubbed
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment.
2. Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick lengthwise slices.
3. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, paprika, liquid smoke, and oil.
4. Arrange the eggplant on the parchment, and brush with the liquid.
5. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, flip the slices, brush with the remaining liquid, and roast another 10 minutes until crisp.
6. Use the “bacon” in BLT’s, crumble it in salads, or use as a garnish.

Twice Baked Japanese Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves 4:

1 1/4 pounds Japanese sweet potatoes, scrubbed and pierced with the sharp tip of a paring knife
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 leeks, finely chopped using the white and tender green parts
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
6 strips bacon, cooked crisp, and crumbled

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Bake the potatoes for 40 to 50 minutes until they are soft to the touch.
3. While the potatoes are baking, in a skillet heat the butter, and saute the leeks until they are translucent. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
4. Remove the potatoes from the oven, and slice in half lengthwise.
5. Remove the flesh with a spoon and turn into the bowl with the leeks.
6. Mash the potatoes with 1 cup of cheddar cheese, and the sour cream. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Turn the potatoes into the baking dish, sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and bacon.
7. Reduce the oven to temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted, and potatoes are cooked through.

Miso Glazed Japanese Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4:

3 tablespoons white miso
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 pound purple Japanese sweet potatoes, scrubbed, and cut into quarters
3 scallions, finely chopped for garnish
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment, aluminum foil or silicone.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the miso, oil, maple syrup, vinegar, and soy sauce.
3. Add the potatoes, stirring to coat.
4. Arrange the vegetables and marinade on the baking sheet, roast the vegetables for 35 to 45 minutes until tender.
5. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Scarlett Runner Succotash

Serves 4:

1/2 pound scarlet runner beans, shelled
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups diced gold bar squash
1 cup corn kernels cut from the cob
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
2 tablespoons snipped chives for garnish

1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil with the bay leaf, add the beans, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until tender. Drain thoroughly and season with salt and pepper.
2. In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil, add the onion and saute for 3 to 4 minutes until the onion is translucent.
3. Add the squash, corn, and beans, and saute until the squash begins to color a bit. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Add the basil and saute another minute. Serve garnished with fresh chives.

Pasta with Pancetta and Swiss Chard

Serves 6:

1 pound penne or other shaped pasta
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped pancetta
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch rainbow chard, washed, spun dry, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano

1. Bring 8 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 2 minutes short of al dente.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, saute the pancetta until crispy.
3. Add the garlic and swirl in the pan for 3 seconds until fragrant.
4. Add the chard and cook until the chard is wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
5. When the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water if needed.
6. Toss the pasta with the chard in the skillet, add half of the cheese, and a bit of pasta water to make a creamy sauce.
7. Serve the pasta garnished with the remaining cheese.

Scarlett Runner Vegetable Soup

Serves 6:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped sage (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried whole sage)
2 cups gold bar squash, diced
3 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 bunch rainbow chard, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 pound scarlet runner beans, shelled
Rind from Parmigiano Reggiano, chopped (optional)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

1. In a Dutch oven and stock pot, heat the oil, and saute the garlic, onion and sage until the onion begins to soften. Add the squash, carrots, and chard, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until the chard begins to wilt.
2. Add the broth, beans, rind (if using) and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, and simmer for 1 hour until the beans are tender. Re-season with salt and pepper and serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Passion Fruit Upside Down Cake

Serves 6:
If you are not fond of the seeds in passion fruit strain them out, but this cake looks awesome when they are left in. Serve with unsweetened whipped cream.


1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup passion fruit pulp

1. Coat the interior of a 10-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat, then add the brown sugar and stir for a few minutes until the brown sugar is completely combined and melted.
3. Add the passion fruit pulp, stir to blend, then pour into the bottom of the cake pan.
4. Set aside while making the cake batter.

For the Cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 cups heavy cream, whipped stiffly for garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and stir to blend.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
4. Mix the sour cream and orange juice together, add with the flour, baking soda and salt, and beat until the mixture comes together and is smooth.
5. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Transfer the cake pan to a rack and allow to cool for EXACTLY 10 minutes.
7. Turn the cake out onto a serving platter and serve at room temperature.
8. Refrigerate any leftover cake, and re-warm before serving, garnish with whipped cream, crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream.

Passion Fruit Lime Curd

Makes about 4 cups:

3/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup passion fruit pulp
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, eggs, lime juice, and passion fruit pulp. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture thickens.
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter a few bits at a time.
3. Transfer to a bowl and press plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd to avoid forming a skin.
4. Cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
5. This is delicious as a filling for cakes, as a spread for English muffins, or as a topping for pudding.

Gold Bar Breakfast Strata

Serves 6:

12 ounces bulk pork or turkey breakfast sausage
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 cups gold bar squash, shredded
1 cup bicolor corn, stripped from the cob
6 cups white bread cubes (I like to use a farm type sandwich white bread)
6 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
Few drops Tabasco
2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

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, cook the sausage, breaking it up into pieces until it is no longer pink. Remove from the skillet and set into a large mixing bowl.
3. Saute the onion, squash and corn until the onion is translucent and the liquid in the pan has evaporated.
4. Cool the mixture and add to the sausage in the bowl.
5. Add the bread cubes to the bowl.
6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, Tabasco and 1 cup of cheese.
7. Pour over the sausage mixture and toss to coat.
8. Transfer to the baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the strata is golden brown and puffed. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving .

Spicy Pepper Steak

Serves 6:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
One 2 pound round steak about 1-inch thick, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper
2 medium onions, thinly sliced into 1/2 moons
1 cup thinly sliced banana peppers, cored, and seeded
2 teaspoons dried oregano
One 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes and their juice
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, season the steak with salt and pepper, and brown the steak cubes on all sides. Remove from the Dutch oven add the onions, peppers, and oregano, and saute until the onion begins to turn translucent.
2. Add the tomatoes, steak cubes and balsamic vinegar back to the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper, and simmer covered for 1 hour, until the steak is tender. Serve over pasta, rice, or polenta.

Slow Cooker Tangerine Pudding Cake

Serves 6:

2 cups tangerine segments
4 large eggs, separated grated zest of one orange or tangerine
1/3 cup orange juice 4 tablespoons butter, softened 1 2/3 cups milk 1 cup sugar 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Coat the insert of a 5 to 7-quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Spread the tangerine segments over the bottom of the slow cooker.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and set aside. In another mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and blend in the zest, juice, butter, and milk. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, flour and salt and add to egg yolk mixture beating until smooth and fold into the reserved egg whites. Transfer the batter to the prepared slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 2 ½ hours.

Brown Butter Nectarine Cobbler

Serves 6:

3 cups nectarines cut in 1/2-inch slices
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons raw sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of an 8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the fruit slices, 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a simmer, then take the pan off the heat.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until it smells very nutty, turns golden, and flecks of dark brown appear, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the brown butter into the baking dish.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour the buttermilk into the dry ingredients and mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Scrape the batter on top of the brown butter, use a spatula to even out the batter but be careful not to mix it into the butter. Scatter the nectarine slices and juice on top of the batter without stirring. Sprinkle with the almonds, nutmeg, and raw sugar. Bake until golden brown, 50 to 55 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.

Shrimp and Nectarine Salad

Serves 4 to 6:

1/3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup corn cut from the cob
1 pound uncooked shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 cups torn mixed salad greens
2 medium nectarines, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1. In a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, tarragon, and oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. In a skillet heat the butter, and saute the corn, shrimp, lemon zest, juice and pepper until the shrimp turn pink. Set aside to cool.
3. In a large salad bowl, combine the greens nectarines, tomatoes, and red onion. Top with the shrimp and corn mixture and toss with the dressing.

@Diane Phillps Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box August 19th 2021

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This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Beef and Yu Choy Stir-Fry

Serves 6:

To Prepare the Meat:
1 pound flank steak, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon oyster sauce

1. In a bowl, add the sliced beef, baking soda, and water.
2. Massage the beef with your hands until all the liquid is absorbed.
3. Mix in 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoons oil, and 1 teaspoon oyster sauce, and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

For The Sauce:
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1. Make the sauce mixture by mixing the chicken stock, sugar, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper. Set aside.

Prep and Serve:
1 bunch Yu choy, chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (mixed with 3 tablespoons water)

2. Heat your wok over high heat until smoking. Add 2 tablespoons oil and sear the beef on both sides until browned (this should only take 2-3 minutes). Turn off the heat, remove the beef from the wok, and set aside.
3. Set the wok over medium heat and add another tablespoon of oil to the along with the garlic and ginger (if using). Stir the garlic and ginger for 5 seconds, add the Yu Choy and stir fry for 2 minutes. Pour the Shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok.
4. Next, add in the sauce mixture you made earlier. Stir the sauce around the sides of the wok to deglaze it Bring the sauce to a simmer. Stir the cornstarch and water slurry to ensure it’s well
combined and drizzle the mixture into sauce while stirring constantly. Allow it to simmer and thicken for 20 seconds.
5. Add the beef back to the skillet and toss to combine. Serve over steamed rice.
6. Cooks’ Note: this same method can be used with chicken or pork.

Stir Fry Noodles with Yu Choy

Serves 4:

12 ounces fresh or dry noodles, such as Chinese egg noodles or rice noodles
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
2 cups finely diced chicken, or thinly sliced julienned beef, or firm tofu
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup julienne carrots
1 bunch Yu Choy, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons broth or water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds for garnish
1 green onion, thinly sliced using the white and tender green parts

1. Cook the noodles according to the package directions and drain. Set aside.
2. In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil, swirl the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chicken, beef, or tofu, and saute until the chicken is white all over.
3. Transfer to a plate and add the onion, carrots, and yu choy to the skillet, and saute until the onion is softened.
4. Add the chicken and noodles back to the pan. Add the soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil to the pan, and saute until the chicken/beef/tofu is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Serve garnished with sesame seeds and green onions.

Beet, Pluot and Buratta Salad

Serves 4 to 6:

1 bunch beets, tops removed, and scrubbed
1/2 pound pluots, pitted, and diced
1/4 pound thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma
8-ounces buratta or fresh mozzarella torn
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup packed basil leaves for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Put the beets onto the baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil, and roast for 30 minutes (medium beets) to 60 minutes (large beets) until tender; a sharp paring knife will go into the beet easily. Allow the beets to cool, slip off the skins and cut the beets into 1/2-inch dice. Set aside.
2. Arrange the beets, pluots, Prosciutto and mozzarella on a serving platter. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garnish with basil leaves.
4. Cook’s Note: I’ve made this salad with any stone fruits, cherries, pluots, apricots, and peaches all work well.

Tuscan Frittata

Serves 6:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup thinly sliced sweet yellow onion
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bunch mustard greens, washed, spun dry, tough stems removed and finely chopped
8 large eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, in an oven proof skillet, heat the oil, saute the garlic, onion and sugar until the onion begins to turn translucent.
2. Add the mustard greens, and saute until the greens are wilted.
3. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and pour the eggs evenly on the mustard greens. Lift the greens to make sure the eggs get to the bottom, and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake the frittata until it is set in the middle. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Braised Satina Potatoes

Serves 4:

1 pound Satina potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth (plus more if needed)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped chives for garnish

1. Put the potatoes in a single layer in a 12-inch skillet. They will be crowded, but they shouldn’t be stacked. Sprinkle the thyme between the potatoes. Cut 3 tablespoons of the butter into pieces. Add the butter, salt, and pepper to the potatoes.
2. Pour in the broth, partially cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium high heat, until the potatoes are tender, and most of the liquid is absorbed, this should take about 20 to 25 minutes. If the broth evaporates during the cooking add 1/4 cup more, until the potatoes are tender. Melt the remaining butter and toss with the potatoes and garnish with the chives. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Salad Nicoise

Serves 4 to 6:

1/2 pound yellow beans, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound Satina potatoes, scrubbed
3 large eggs
3 scallions (white and tender green parts), finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 head red or green leaf lettuce, washed and spun dry
One 6 to 7-ounce can Italian tuna in olive oil
4 medium vine ripened tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup Nicoise olives, pitted, and chopped

1. Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil, boil the beans for 3 minutes, and remove, season with salt and pepper. KEEP THE BOILING WATER.
2. Add the potatoes to the water, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the water and cool.
3. Add the eggs to the water, and when the water comes to a boil, remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Put the eggs into an ice bath to stop the cooking and peel under cold water. Cut the eggs into quarters and set aside.
4. In a bowl, combine the scallions, parsley, basil, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper until blended.
5. Toss the beans with some of the dressing and set aside.
6. Cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces and toss with some dressing. Set aside.
7. To assemble the salad, lay the lettuce onto a large serving platter, top with the potatoes and beans. Arrange eggs, tuna, tomatoes, and olives on top of the potatoes and beans. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve at room temperature.

Swiss Beans

Serves 4 to 6:

1/2 pound yellow beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream
8 ounces Swiss cheese, coarsely shredded

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a gratin dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Bring 4 quarts salted water to a boil and cook the beans for 3 minutes. Drain thoroughly, and season with salt and pepper.
3. In a saucepan, stir 2 tablespoons butter, flour, onion, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan over medium heat; gradually stir in sour cream. Cook and stir mixture until hot, thickened, and smooth, about 4 minutes.
4. Add steamed green beans to the cream mixture.
5. Pour green bean-cream mixture into the prepared casserole dish, sprinkle with Swiss cheese.
6. Bake until cheese is bubbling, and topping is browned, about 20 minutes.

Pluot and Pretzel Cheesecake

Serves 6 to 8:

4 large pluots pitted and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
6 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups finely ground salted pretzels
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup mascarpone cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1. In a large bowl, toss together pluots, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Let stand for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F and coat the inside of a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl, stir together pretzels, melted butter, and granulated sugar until combined. Press pretzel mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie plate.
4. Bake until golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat mascarpone, cream cheese, and remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar at medium speed until smooth. Add egg, vanilla, and zest, beating until combined. Spoon into prepared crust.
6. Drain pluots, arrange on top of mascarpone mixture in a circular pattern, slightly overlapping (you may have a few leftover plum slices). Brush with any remaining syrup.
7. Bake until filling is set, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Cauliflower with capers, raisins, and breadcrumbs

Serves 8 to 10:

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons salted packed capers, soaked, rinsed, patted dry
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

1. Preheat oven to 400 line 2 baking sheets with silicone, parchment, or aluminum foil.
2. In a bowl, toss the cauliflower, 3 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes until crispy.
3. Heat the remaining oil in a small saute pan over medium low heat, add the garlic, and cook until just golden. Add the capers and cook until they begin to pop. Add the breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Cook stirring until the breadcrumbs are golden.
4. Set aside.
5. Add chicken broth and anchovy paste to the saute pan, bring to a boil, add the golden raisins, and white wine vinegar, and cook until the liquid is almost absorbed.
6. Transfer the cauliflower to a serving bowl, scatter the raisins, toss to combine. Sprinkle cauliflower with the bread crumb mixture and serve.

Baked Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Dip

Serves 6:

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces goat cheese, softened
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley
Toasted baguette slices or fresh vegetables to dip
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the inside of a gratin dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a 5-quart saucepan, heat 3 quarts of salted water. Add the cauliflower, and simmer until the cauliflower is crisp/tender, about 6 minutes.
3. Drain thoroughly and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
4. In a small skillet, melt the butter, and sauté the garlic and shallot for 2 minutes, until fragrant, add the red pepper flakes, and swirl in the pan for 10 seconds. Set aside to cool.
5. Place the cauliflower, garlic butter, Dijon mustard, cream cheese and goat cheese in a food processor, and process on and off until the mixture is smooth, with a few chunks of cauliflower.
6. Taste for seasoning and adjust using salt or pepper.
7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
8. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the dip for 2 days. Before baking, remove the baking dish from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking, and proceed as directed.
9. In a small bowl, combine the Parmigiano, breadcrumbs, oil, and parsley, and stir until the crumbs are moistened. Sprinkle over top of the cauliflower mixture, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the dip is bubbling, and the topping is golden brown. Spread on crackers, baguette slices, or use as a dip for vegetables.

Mediterranean Zucchini Fritters

Serves 4:

1 pound zucchini, trimmed and grated on the wide holes of a grater or food processor
Salt
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as fennel, dill, mint, parsley (I like to use mostly dill)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 to 1 cup fresh or dry breadcrumbs, more as necessary
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta
All-purpose flour for dredging
Vegetable oil for frying
Greek Style yogurt for serving

1. Salt the zucchini generously and leave to drain in a colander for one hour, tossing and squeezing the zucchini from time to time. Take up handfuls of zucchini and squeeze out all the moisture. Alternately, wrap in a clean dish towel, and squeeze out the water by twisting at both ends.
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add the shredded zucchini, herbs, cumin, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper to taste and feta. Mix well.
3. Take up a small handful of the mixture; if it presses neatly into a patty, it is the right consistency. If it seems wet, add more breadcrumbs or a few tablespoons of all-purpose flour. When the mixture has the right consistency, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour or longer.
4. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large frying pan until rippling. Meanwhile, take up heaped tablespoons of the zucchini mixture, and form balls or patties. Lightly dredge in flour.
5. When the oil is very hot, add the patties in batches to the pan. Fry until golden brown, turning once with a spider or slotted spoon. Remove from the oil and drain briefly on a rack. Serve with plain Greek style yogurt if desired.

Pickled Zucchini Salad

Serves 4 to 6:

2 cups white wine vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup packed fresh dill
3 large zucchini, diced
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper

1. In a saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic, and dill to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar.
2. Put the zucchini into a boil and pour the pickling liquid over the zucchini. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes, then drain thoroughly.
3. Arrange the zucchini, mozzarella, and tomatoes on a serving platter. Drizzle with the zest, lemon juice, and oil. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Potato Leek Soup

Serves 6:
This French classic can be served hot or cold.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks, finely chopped using the white and tender green parts
1 1/4 pounds Satina potatoes, peeled, and coarsely chopped
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped chives for garnish

1. In a Dutch oven, heat the butter, and saute the leek for 5 to 6 minutes, until they begin to turn translucent.
2. Add the potatoes and toss in the butter and leek mixture.
3. Add the broth and bring to a simmer.
4. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Puree the soup with an immersion blender.
7. Add the cream, and season again with salt and pepper.
8. Serve the soup hot or cold garnished with chopped chives.

Chicken Poached with Port and Leeks

Serves 6 to 8:

For the Leeks
:
4 medium leeks, with coarse green ends trimmed
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
Ground pepper to taste
1. Split leeks lengthwise to within ½ inch of their roots. Rinse under cold water.
2. Drain and cut into 1 inch lengths.
3. Melt butter in a 4 quart saucepan.
4. Add leeks and cook gently, stirring occasionally until soft, about 10 minutes.
5. Add cream, salt and pepper and cook over medium high heat until cream is thick enough to coat leeks. Keep warm while preparing chicken.

For the Chicken:
8 chicken breast halves, boned and skinned
Salt
Ground pepper
1 cup port wine
1 cup beef stock or beef broth
1 stick butter, chilled and cut into 8 pieces

1. Pat the chicken dry, and season with salt and pepper. Pour port and broth into a large saute pan.
2. Arrange chicken breasts in a single layer.
3. Cut a piece of aluminum foil to fit pan and place directly on the chicken. Cook over high heat until chicken is firm to the touch. NO MORE THAN 8 MINUTES!
4. Transfer to plate to cover loosely with aluminum foil.
5. Boil liquid over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Whisk butter, one piece at a time, waiting until each piece is incorporated before adding another. Adjust seasoning.
6. Spoon leeks onto platter and chicken breasts over them. Drizzle with sauce.

Caramelized Leek and Spinach Dip

Serves 6:

One round unsliced sourdough loaf
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 bunch leeks, root ends trimmed, washed, and thinly sliced using the white and tender green parts
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bunch spinach, washed, spun dry and chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek style yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere or Jarlsberg cheese
Crackers, pita chips or crudites for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil or parchment.
2. Cut the top off the sourdough loaf and hollow out the inside, leaving 1/2 to 1-inch inside the loaf. Cut the interior pieces and top into cubes. Put the cubes, and the sourdough loaf on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the cubes from the baking sheet to cool.
3. While the bread is baking, in a large skillet, heat the butter, add the leeks, salt, pepper and sugar, and saute until the leeks are beginning to turn golden brown.
4. Add the spinach, and nutmeg, saute until the spinach is wilted. Cool the mixture.
5. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, yogurt mayonnaise, cheese, and the leek/spinach mixture. Turn into the sour dough loaf, and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the dip is bubbling.
6. Serve with the cubes, and crackers, pita chips or crudites.

Baby Corn Masala

Serves 4:

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 pound baby corn, shucked
1/2 cup coconut milk well shaken

1. 1.Heat oil and add cumin, bay leaf, ginger, and the garlic, and saute till a light brown.
2. 2.Add onions and saute till a golden brown, then add tomatoes and stir fry over medium heat.
3. 3.When fat separates, add the salt, garam masala and the red pepper and stir till well mixed.
4. 4.Add baby corn and coconut milk, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot over steamed basmati rice.

Curried Chicken Salad with Baby Corn

Serves 6:

For the Dressing
:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder

1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

For the Salad
:
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped leeks
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
1/2 pound baby corn, husked and chopped
1 head romaine lettuce, washed, spun dry and chopped
1/2 cup salted roasted cashews for garnish

1. In a salad bowl, combine all the ingredients except the cashews. Toss with the dressing and garnish with the cashews.

The Tomato Tart

Serves 4 to 6:

One sheet puff pastry, thawed, and rolled out into a 14-inch circle
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup packed basil
Salt and pepper
1 basket mixed grape tomatoes, washed, stemmed, and cut in half
1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat the inside of a tart pan with non-stick cooking spray. Lay the puff pastry into the tart pan, and press into the sides. Prick the interior of the puff pastry all over with a fork and bake for 12 minutes until beginning to turn golden brown.
3. While the pastry is baking, in a blender or food processor, blend the oil, garlic, basil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the tomatoes and mozzarella. Transfer to the baked shell, top with the Parmigiano and bake another 15 to 20 minutes until the tart is bubbling and the cheese is melted.
4. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into wedges.

@Diane Phillips www.dianephillips.com Blog: www.cucinadivina.blogspot.com
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Farmers’ Market Box August 12th 2021

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This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Pasta with Roasted Sunburst Squash and Calvo Nero

Serves 4 to 6:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup packed sage leaves, roughly chopped
1 pound sunburst squash, ends trimmed and quartered
1 bunch black kale, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One pound penne, or other shaped pasta like rigatoni or mostaccioli cooked 3 minutes short of al dente saving some of the hot pasta water
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, silicone, or parchment.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oil, garlic, onion, sage, squash, and kale. Season with salt and pepper and
3. Toss to coat. Spread onto the baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for 10 minutes, turn and roast another 5 to 7 minutes until the squash has begun to color.

Sunburst Squash Bread Pudding Casserole

Serves 4 to 6:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound sunburst squash, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped basil (you can sub in oregano, sage, or tarragon here)
salt and pepper
6 large eggs, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
Few drops of Tabasco
6 cups bread cubes (crusts removed)
1/2 cup cubed Gruyere cheese
1/3 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. In a large skillet, heat the butter, saute the onion and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion is softened.
3. Add the squash and basil, and saute until the liquid in the pan has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Cool the mixture.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and Tabasco. Add the cooled vegetables, bread cubes and cheese cubes. Stir to combine pressing the bread into liquid to soak it through. Turn the mixture into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with the Parmigiano Reggiano. (At this point the casserole can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 24 hours—remove from the fridge 1 hour before baking to get to room temperature)
5. Bake the casserole for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the casserole is bubbling. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Bruschetta with Black Kale and Buratta

Serves 6:

For the Bruschetta
:
1 baguette, sliced 1/2-inch thick
Olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil or parchment.
2. Lay the slices onto the baking sheet and brush with oil.
3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until crunchy.

For the Kale
:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, and leaves cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1/4 to 1/3 cup vegetable or chicken broth
Salt and pepper

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, swirl the garlic and red pepper in the oil for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
2. Add the kale, and saute until it begins to wilt, about 4 minutes. Add the broth, cook another 5 minutes until the kale is tender. Season with salt and pepper.

To Assemble:
Bruschetta
Sautéed Kale
2 balls buratta, sliced
Fleur de Sel

1. Spread some of the kale onto the bruschetta.
2. Top with a bit of the buratta, and sprinkle with the fleur de sel. Serve warm.

Garnet Yam Salad

Serves 4 to 6:

One pound garnet yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup dill pickle relish
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
2 ribs celery, diced
1/2 small red onion, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil or parchment.
2. In a bowl, combine the potatoes, oil, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat. Spread onto the baking sheet in an even layer, and roast for 15 minutes, turn the potatoes, and roast another 10 minutes until they are tender. Cool completely.
3. In a bowl, stir together the relish, mustard, honey, vinegar, mayonnaise, chives, and parsley until blended.
4. When the potatoes are cooled add the celery and onion to the potatoes in a bowl. Toss with the mayonnaise mixture and season with salt and pepper.
5. Variation: For a Southwestern dressing: 1/2 cup mayonnaise; 2 tablespoons lime juice; 2 chipotle peppers in adobe, chopped; 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro; 2 tablespoons chopped oregano. Blend and toss with the potatoes, celery, and red onion.

Warm Green Bean and Corn Salad

Serves 4:

1/2 pound blue lake green beans, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 strips bacon, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup corn cut from the cob
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes, until crisp/tender.
2. Drain thoroughly, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
3. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy, add the onion and corn, and saute until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the mustard, sugar, and red wine vinegar, and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the beans and toss to coat. Serve garnished with chopped chives.

Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Pluot Gastrique

Serves 6:

For the Gastrique
:
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 pound flavor king pluots, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
Salt freshly ground black pepper

1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the honey until it becomes a tawny color, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and pluots, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
2. The Gastrique can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. It’s delicious over chicken, or lamb or pork.

For the Tenderloins:
Two one pound pork tenderloins, trimmed
4 cups water
4 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Put the pork tenderloin into a zip-lock bag.
2. In a mixing bowl, dissolve the salt and sugar in the water. Pour over the pork, seal the bag, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 12 hours.
3. Discard the water in the bag, rinse the tenderloin, and pat dry.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In an ovenproof skillet, heat the oil, and brown the tenderloin on all sides.
5. Generously brush with the Gastrique, and roast until an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 155 degrees.
6. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
7. Slice the tenderloin and serve garnished with the Gastrique. Serve any additional Gastrique warmed on the side.

Pluot Crumble

Serves 6:

4 Pluots, pitted, and sliced into wedges
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 ½ cups oatmeal
½ cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350*F, coat the inside of a 9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the pluots with the sugar, and cornstarch, toss to combine.
2. Transfer the pluots to the prepared pan.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the oatmeal, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar with a fork. Crumble this mixture evenly over the pluots.
4. Bake at 350*F for 40-45 minutes, until the crumbled is golden, and the fruit is bubbling.
5. Serve the crumble with vanilla ice cream.

Chopped Chicken Salad

Serves 6:

One head romaine, washed spun dry and chopped
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
3 rainbow carrots, scrubbed, and julienned
1 pluot, diced
2 to 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds for garnish

1. In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine, celery, carrots, apple, chicken, and onion.
2. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, soy, vinegar, sugar, ginger, and garlic. Adjust seasoning using soy or sugar to taste.
3. Toss the salad, and garnish with sesame seeds.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

Serves 4:

1 bunch rainbow carrots, tops removed, scraped, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, silicone, or parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, combine the carrots, oil, salt, pepper, honey, and cumin.
3. Spread the carrots onto the baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes until tender, turning them once or twice during the cooking time.
4. When the carrots are cooked, transfer them to a serving dish, and drizzle with carrot top pesto Serve warm.

Carrot Top Pesto

Makes about 3 cups:

2 cups chopped carrot tops, washed, and spun dry
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. In a food processor or blender, combine the carrot tops, garlic, and almonds. Pulse on and off to break up the garlic and nuts.
2. With the machine running, pour in the oil, and process until smooth.
3. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the pesto for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
4. Drizzle the pesto over the roasted carrots or toss with pasta.

Moussaka

Serves 6 to 8:
A few steps are involved in this delicious meal, pair with salad and red wine vinaigrette and crusty bread for a comforting dinner.


1 pound Italian eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pounds ground lamb
1 28-ounce can tomato puree
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼ cup Italian parsley, minced
½ cups dry white wine
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the broiler or a grill for 10 minutes. Lay the eggplant onto a foil lined baking sheet, brush the eggplant slices with some of the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill/broil until they are golden on one side. Cool.
2. In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil, and saute the onion, garlic, oregano, and cinnamon for 2 to 3 minutes to soften the onion.
3. Add the lamb, and saute breaking up any large pieces, until the lamb is no longer pink. Remove any excess fat from the pan.
4. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, parsley, and wine, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 45 minutes until thickened.

For the Bechamel:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
3 cups Kefalotyri or Pecorino Romano cheese
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter, and whisk in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, add the milk, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly, whisk in the eggs, and 1 cup of cheese.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle some of the breadcrumbs over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the eggplant slices and spread the meat sauce over the eggplant. Top with 1/2 cup of the remaining cheese. Layer the remaining eggplant on the cheese, and spread the bechamel over the top, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs.
3. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, or freeze for 1 month.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 45 minutes, until well browned. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes, before cutting into 3-inch squares to serve.

Roasted Eggplant Rollatini

Serves 6:

For the Eggplant:
One pound Italian purple eggplant, stem and root end removed and sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking liners, aluminum foil, or parchment.
2. Lay the eggplant onto the baking sheets.
3. In a bowl, combine the oil, salt and pepper and brush the eggplant with the oil.
4. Bake for 10 minutes until the eggplant begins to soften, turn the eggplant, brush with the oil, and bake another 20 minutes until the eggplant is golden brown.
5. At this point you can cool, cover, and refrigerate the eggplant until ready to roll.

For the Sauce:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Two 28.5-ounce cans chopped tomatoes and their juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1. In a skillet, heat the oil, and saute the onion, basil, and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion begins to soften.
2. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Add the basil and parsley, and season again with salt and pepper.
4. Do-Ahead: The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Assembly
:
8-ounces smoked Scarmorza or smoked mozzarella
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
Fresh Basil leaves for garnish (optional)

1. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Depending upon your eggplant you may need a 13-by-9-inch dish (for more than 8 slices of eggplant) or a 9 to 10-inch baking dish for 8 or less slices.
2. Cut the mozzarella into 1/4-inch slices.
3. Lay an eggplant slice on a flat surface and place the cheese in the center of the slice. Fold the eggplant over the cheese, and place seam side down on the sauce in the prepared pan.
4. Continue to roll the slices until they are all used.
5. Top each slice with some of the remaining sauce. Sprinkle any remaining cheese over the eggplant, and top with the parmesan.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the eggplant for 25 to 35 minutes, until the cheeses are melted, and bubbling. Serve garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Pan Roasted Chicken and Peaches

Serves 4:

1 pound firm peaches
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup ruby port
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger root, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and toss together the ingredients in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
2. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once during the cooking time, until the chicken is cooked through, and the peaches are softened.
3. Serve over rice, or polenta.

Poached Peaches in Moscato

Serves 4 to 6:

3 firm peaches (see note)
1 liter Moscato wine
1/4 cup honey
3 thin slices of ginger (about dime size) (you can change this to 1 cinnamon stick if you’d like)
Crème fraiche, Greek style yogurt, or ice cream for serving
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

1. Cut the peaches in half and pit them.
2. In a Dutch oven, combine the Moscato, honey and ginger or cinnamon.
3. Add the peaches and bring to a simmer. (Simmer is defined as bubbles just breaking the surface)
4. Simmer the peaches for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender, but not falling apart.
5. Remove the peaches from the wine and set aside.
6. Bring to the syrup to a boil, and reduce by half, until thick and syrupy.
7. Put a peach half in a bowl, dollop with crème fraiche, yogurt, or ice cream.
8. Drizzle with warm syrup and serve garnished with sliced almonds.
9. Cook’s Note: The syrup can be frozen and used in drinks (think Sangria) drizzled over cake, ice cream, or your morning yogurt.
Cook’s Note: You can use peaches, nectarines, and plums in this recipe, they all work well.

Thomcord Grape Pie

Serves 6

For the Crust
:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water, as needed

1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until the mixture forms lima bean-size pieces. Slowly add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. It should be moist, but not wet.
2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Divide into 2, flatten each into a disk with the heel of your hand. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
3. Coat the inside of a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.
4. On a floured board, roll out the bottom crust to 11-inches and lay into the prepared pan.
5. Roll out the top crust and refrigerated while getting the fruit ready.

For the Fruit:
4 cups Thomcord grapes, stemmed
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Cream
Raw sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a bowl combine the grapes, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch.
3. Pour the mixture into the pie crust.
4. Top with the second pie crust, crimp or flute the edges, brush the top with cream, and sprinkle with raw sugar and slash 2 or 3 slits in the top.
5. Put the pie plate onto a lined baking sheet to catch any drips.
6. Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 375 and bake another 45 to 50 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.

Thomcord Sherbet

Serves 6:

2 pounds Thomcord grapes, stemmed
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1. In a Dutch oven, add the grapes along with the water. Cover, stirring from time to time, and cook until the grapes are soft.
2. Remove from heat and pass the grapes through a food mill with the attachment with the smallest holes.
3. If you don’t have a food mill, press them through a fine-mesh strainer, which will take a bit of force. Different grapes will yield differing amounts of juice. You should have 3 cups.
1. Add the sugar, and corn syrup, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Chill thoroughly, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Dragon Fruit Ambrosia

Serves 6:

1 dragon fruit, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 pluots, pitted and cut into chunks
2 peaches, pitted and cut into chunks
1/2 cup shredded coconut

1. In a blender, combine the dragon fruit, lime peel, juice, honey, and buttermilk. Taste and add more honey, or lime juice if needed. The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
2. In a bowl, combine the pluots and peaches.
3. Drizzle with the dressing, and garnish with coconut. Serve cold.

Dragon Fruit Smoothie

Makes two 8-ounce smoothies:

2 cups chopped kale (tough stems removed)
1 dragon fruit, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
1 can (13.66 ounces) Lite Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder
1 to 2 tablespoons honey, to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender, and puree until smooth. Serve garnished with mint.

@Diane Phillips www.dianephillips.com Blog: www.cucinadivina.blogspot.com
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Farmers’ Market Box August 5th 2021

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This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Broccoli Leek Soup

Serves 6:

One bunch broccoli, stalks trimmed and cut into florets
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks, finely chopped, using the white and tender green parts
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup milk, heavy cream or half and half (optional)
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving

1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, add the broccoli, and cook for 3 minutes until crisp/tender. Drain thoroughly.
2. In a Dutch oven, heat the butter, add the leeks and saute for 3 to 4 minutes until softened. Add the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Slowly add the broth, and bring to a boil, whisking until thickened. Add the broccoli and milk (if using)
4. Season with salt and pepper, and serve the soup garnished with cheese if desired.

Broccoli Couscous Salad

Serves 6:

One bunch broccoli, cut into small florets
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped leeks
1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups couscous
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano
Salt

1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, cook the broccoli for 2 minutes, drain the broccoli, seasoning with salt and pepper.
2. Bring the broth to a boil, add the couscous, and turn off the heat. Allow to stand 10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a salad bowl with the semi-cooled broccoli.
3. Melt the butter and saute the leeks for 2 to 3 minutes until softened. Set aside to cool. Add to the couscous and broccoli.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, zest, oil, and pepper. Stir in the parsley and oregano.
5. Pour the mixture over the broccoli and couscous and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature cover and refrigerate if not eating immediately. This salad is best at room temperature, so you can make it at least 4 hours ahead and leave it at room temperature.

Stuffed Gold Bar Squash

Six 6-inch-long zucchini or summer squash, ends trimmed, and cut in half lengthwise
6 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped leek using the white part only
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 1/4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or aluminum foil or coat two 13 x 9-inch baking dishes with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Bring an inch of water to a boil in a large pot. Place the squash in a steamer insert, fit it into the pot, cover, and steam the squash until tender when pierced with a knife, but the skin is still crisp, 6 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pot and let cool a bit. Then gently scoop out the insides of the squash with a small teaspoon or grapefruit spoon, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell. Dry the shells with paper towels. Finely chop the insides of the squash and set aside.
3. In a 10-inch skillet, cook the bacon until crisp, add the leek and garlic, and chopped squash add the onion and chopped zucchini and cook, stirring, until the leek begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a medium-size bowl. Stir in the basil, breadcrumbs, and mayonnaise until blended.
4. Stuff the squash shells with the mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet or in the baking dishes.
Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
5. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover the zucchini evenly with the cheese and bake until the cheese is golden, and the filling is puffed, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Gold Bar Squash and Chicken Sheet Pan Bake

Serves 6:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1 leek coarsely chopped, using the white and tender green part
Salt and pepper
8 chicken breast halves, skin and bones removed
4 cups gold bar squash, sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 cups sliced leeks, using the white and tender green parts
1 basket yellow tomatoes, halved if large
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped basil
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

1. In a food processor or blender, combine the oil, mustard, vinegar, garlic, and leek and puree until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Divide the liquid in half and marinate the chicken in one half of the mixture for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
3. Put the remaining marinade in a zip-lock bag, add the squash, leek, and tomatoes, seasoning with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, arrange the vegetables on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone. Top with the chicken, and drizzle with any leftover marinade. Sprinkle with the basil and cheese, bake for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and registers 160 degrees on an instant read meat thermometer. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
5. Cook’s Note: You can also make this dish with thick fleshed fish substituted for the chicken; I’ve done this with salmon, or halibut or sea bass.

Japanese Sweet Potato Curry

Serves 4 to 6

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
2 Japanese sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups coconut milk
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
2 to 3 cups steamed Basmati rice for serving

1. In a large skillet, or wok, heat the oil, and saute the curry powder for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is white all over.
2. Add the kale, and saute until the kale begins to soften.
3. Add the sweet potatoes, stock, and coconut milk.
4. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are softened.
5. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with cilantro and serve over rice.

Sweet Potato Hash

Serves 6:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups finely chopped Temecula onions
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
1/2 pound bulk pork breakfast sausage
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound Japanese sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil, or parchment.
2. In a large skillet, heat the butter, and oil, saute the onions and thyme, until the onions are beginning to caramelize. Remove to a bowl, add the sausage to the pan with the garlic, and saute until the sausage is no longer pink. Add the sausage to the bowl with the onions and add the sweet potatoes.
3. Toss to combine, then turn out onto the sheet pan. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are crispy.
4. At this point you can serve the hash, or you can break several eggs over the hash on the sheet pan, and roast for 5 to 8 minutes until the eggs are done to your preference.

Mr. McNulty’s Upside-Down Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Serves 8:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅓ cup sugar
Salt
1 pound Mr. McNulty’s nectarine/plum, peeled, halved, pitted, and cut into 3/4-inch wedges
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup whole milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1 large egg plus 1 large yolk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 10-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a skillet, melt the butter, add the sugar, and salt, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is a deep amber color. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
3. Arrange the Mr. McNulty’s on the butter and sugar mixture.
4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and soda.
5. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, sugar, zest, orange juice, egg, and yolk.
6. Pour into the dry ingredients, stirring until combined.
7. Gently pour over the fruit, bake for 28 to 33 minutes, until the cake is golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
8. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes. Place a plate that is 2-inches wider than the cake pan over the pan, carefully invert the cake onto the plate. Allow the cake to cool for at least 1 hour before serving with vanilla bean ice cream.

Nectarine Tart

Serves 6:

1 9-inch prebaked pie crust
1/2 cup heavy cream
8-ounces mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
4 white nectarines, pitted, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup apricot jam

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Add the mascarpone, sugar, and extract, and beat to combine.
2. Spread the mixture into the prepared cooled pie crust.
3. Arrange the nectarines on top of the mascarpone.
4. Warm the jam and brush it over the nectarines to seal the fruit.
5. Refrigerate the pie for 2 hours. Serve cold.

Nectarine Slaw

Serves 6:

One head green cabbage, cored, cut into quarters, and thinly sliced
4 red radishes, thinly sliced
2 nectarines, peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 nectarine, peeled, pitted, and cut into quarters
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
Several drops Tabasco or Frank’s hot sauce
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1. Put the cabbage, radishes, and nectarines into a salad bowl.
2. In a food processor or blender, combine the mayonnaise, nectarine, juice, vinegar, and Tabasco.
3. Puree until blended. Season with salt and add the poppy seeds. Pour over the slaw and toss to combine. Serve cold. The slaw can be refrigerated for up to 8 hours.

Refrigerator Pickled Banana Peppers

Makes 1 quart:

1 pound banana peppers, stems removed, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup water
3 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon mustard seed
5 black pepper corns
1. Put the peppers into a 1 quart canning jar.
2. Bring the vinegar, water, salt, celery seed, mustard seed, and peppercorns to a boil in a non-reactive pan. Boil for 3 minutes, then pour over the peppers in the jar. Seal, cool and refrigerate for 2 days before using.

Italian Beef for Sandwiches

Serves 6:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped leek, using only the white part
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup banana peppers, stems removed, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
One 3 pound boneless sirloin steak or top round
6 cups beef stock
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoons dried basil
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
4 Italian- or French-style rolls (about 6 in. long) for serving

1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, saute the leek, garlic and banana peppers until the peppers begin to soften.
2. Add the beef to the pan, and brown on all sides.
3. Add the stock, oregano, basil, pepper, parsley, and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 2 hours over low heat, or bake in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours, covered.
4. Remove the meat from the broth and allow to rest for 10 minutes covered with foil.
5. Bring the sauce to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes to reduce the sauce.
6. Thinly slice the beef and return to the sauce.
7. Serve the beef mounded on the rolls, and drizzle with the sauce.
8. The sauce can be frozen and used in soups, or as a drizzle over other beef dishes.

Sauteed Purple Kale

Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch purple kale, tough stems removed and cut into 1/2-ribbons
1/4 cup chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
Salt and pepper

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, saute the garlic for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
2. Add the kale and broth or water, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, and the kale is wilted.
3. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot or at room temperature.
4. This kale can be delicious served on bruschetta or crostini with a slather of whole milk ricotta topped with kale and fine sea salt.
5. Sauteed kale can be frozen and used in soups and stews at a later date.

Slow Cooker Portuguese Kale and Sausage Soup with Dragon Tongue Beans

Serves 6:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound smoked Linguica, chorizo, or andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch rounds
1 cup leeks finely chopped
4 medium carrots finely chopped
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 pound fingerling potatoes, scrubbed, peeled if desired, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound dragon tongue beans shelled
6 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley (optional for garnish)

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, and sauté the sausage, onion, and carrots, until the onion is translucent, and transfer the mixture to the insert of a 5 to 7-quart slow cooker.
2. Add the kale, potatoes, beans, chicken broth, and bay leaf stirring to combine the ingredients.
3. Cook the soup for 5 to 6 hours on low until the potatoes are tender. Remove the bay leaf, sprinkle the soup with the cilantro or parsley and serve.

Pasta e Fagioli

Serves 4 to 6:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped leek using only the white part
1 cup finely diced Nantes carrots
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound shelled Dragon’s tongue beans
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes with juice
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Rind of Parmigiano Reggiano, cut into small pieces
1 cup elbow or small shell pasta
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish


1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, saute the leek, carrots, rosemary, and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes, until the leek begins to soften.
2. Add the beans, tomatoes, broth, and Parmigiano rind (if using) Bring to a boil, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Add the pasta and simmer another 10 minutes.
4. Add the parsley, season with salt and pepper, and serve garnished with Parmigiano Reggiano.
5. Variation: Saute 1/2 pound of bulk sweet Italian sausage with the onion until it is no longer pink, then proceed as directed.

Crostini with Carrot Pesto

Serves 6:

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.
5. Cook’s Notes:
a. 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.

Carrot Salad

Serves 4 to 6:

1 bunch carrots, coarsely shredded
1/4 cup finely chopped leek, using the white and tender green parts
3 nectarines, pitted and chopped
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. In a bowl, combine the carrots, leek, and nectarines.
2. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Pour the dressing over the carrots and toss to coat. The salad can be refrigerated for up to 12 hours. Re-toss when ready to serve.

Roasted Yellow Tomato Pasta

Serves 4:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pint yellow grape tomatoes, cut in half if large
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
Salt and pepper
1 pound linguine or spaghetti, cooked in salted water 2 minutes short of al dente saving some of the hot pasta water
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In an ovenproof skillet, heat the oil, add the tomatoes, garlic and basil, season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until the tomatoes are blistered and show some dark spots.
2. Remove from the oven, and toss with the pasta, add the parsley, and 1/2 the Parmigiano Reggiano. Add some of the hot pasta water to make a creamy sauce. Serve in pasta bowls garnished with additional cheese.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box July 29th 2021

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This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Star Ruby Grapefruit Curd

Makes about 3 cups:

1 1/4 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh Star ruby grapefruit juice
1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1. In a saucier, or saucepan, whisk together the sugar, eggs, and juice. Place over medium heat and whisk until the mixture thickens, and almost boils.
2. Remove from the heat and add butter, whisking in a few bits at a time, until they are incorporated.
3. Transfer to a bowl and press plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.
4. Cool, and refrigerate, the curd will set up in the refrigerator. Use the curd on toast, English muffins, with scones for tea, and as a filling for cakes, or topping for cheesecakes.

Red Grapefruit Sangria

Serves 6:

1 750 mL bottle Riesling 1 cup grapefruit juice 1/2 cup simple syrup** 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries 1 grapefruit, cut into thin slices
1 750mL bottle Prosecco (or a dry champagne)

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the Riesling, grapefruit juice, simple syrup, strawberries, and grapefruit. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 2 days.
2. When ready to serve, put a slice of grapefruit into a wine glass, along with a few slices of strawberries. Pour some of the Sangria base into a wine glass, top off with Prosecco, and serve cold.
3. To Make Simple Syrup: Bring 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup sugar to boil and stir until the sugar is melted. Cool the syrup and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Sicilian Cauliflower with Capers, Raisins and Breadcrumbs

Serves 8 to 10:

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons salted packed capers, soaked, rinsed, patted dry
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

1. Preheat oven to 400 line 2 baking sheets with silicone, parchment, or aluminum foil.
2. In a bowl, toss the cauliflower, 3 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes until crispy.
3. Heat the remaining oil in a small saute pan over medium low heat, add the garlic, and cook until just golden. Add the capers and cook until they begin to pop. Add the breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Cook stirring until the breadcrumbs are golden.
4. Set aside.
5. Add chicken broth and anchovy paste to the sauce saute pan, bring to a boil, add the golden raisins, and white wine vinegar, and cook until the liquid is almost absorbed.
6. Transfer the cauliflower to a serving bowl, scatter the raisins, toss to combine. Sprinkle cauliflower with the bread crumb mixture and serve.

Buffalo Cauliflower

Serves 4:

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot sauce
2 tablespoons Sriracha (Asian chile sauce)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
crumbled blue cheese for garnish

1. preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil or parchment paper.
2. Toss the florets with the oil, salt, and pepper. Spread evenly in one layer onto the baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes turning once during the cooking time. The edges of the cauliflower will have turned golden to golden brown.
3. While the cauliflower is roasting, combine the hot sauce and Sriracha in a saucepan, over medium heat, whisk in the butter until the butter is melted. Keep warm.
4. When the cauliflower is roasted, transfer to a serving bowl, and toss with the hot sauce mixture. Serve garnished with blue cheese crumbles.

Cauliflower Curry

Serves 4:

1 cup chopped torpedo onion
1 1/2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes, or plum tomatoes chopped
3 large garlic cloves
One 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cauliflower cut into florets
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1. In a food processor or blender, process the onion, tomatoes, garlic, and ginger, with on and off pulses until a paste forms.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the paste, and cook until the paste is thickened, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the garam masala and turmeric, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4. Add the cauliflower, broth, stirring to blend. Cover and cook over low heat, until the cauliflower is tender. Season with salt and pepper, serve over rice, with a dollop of plain yogurt.

Cucumber Pickles

Makes about 1 quart:

1 pound Persian cucumbers scrubbed
2 torpedo onions, cut in half, then cut into 1/2 moons
2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
1 tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon mustard seed
½ cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar

1. Cut the cucumbers into 1/2-inch thick slices.
2. In a glass bowl, combine the cucumbers, red onion, and garlic. Sprinkle with the salt, celery seed and mustard seed, and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
3. In a saucepan, heat the sugar and vinegar, until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the vegetables, cool to room temperature.
4. Pack the vegetables and brine into an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Makes about 3 cups:

1 pound Persian cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese

1. Put the cucumber in a colander and toss with the salt. Drain for 30 minutes.
2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic, dill, vinegar, oil, and pepper until blended.
3. Drain the cucumber and fold into the yogurt mixture.
4. Stir in the feta, at this point, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 days.
5. Stir before serving cold. This sauce is delicious with cold seafood, grilled chicken, or lamb.

Sweet Potatoes Anna

Serves 6:

1 pound Garnet yams, peeled
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat the inside of a 10-inch gratin dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Thinly slice the sweet potatoes on a mandoline, in a food processor or with a very sharp chef’s knife.
3. In a bowl, combine the butter, thyme, and generous amounts of salt and pepper.
4. Toss the potatoes with the butter mixture and arrange the slices over lapping in the gratin dish until all the slices are used.
5. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and roast for 35 minutes.
6. Remove the foil and roast another 30 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown and tender.
7. Cut into wedges and serve hot.

Hasselback Chipotle Yams

Serves 4 to 6:

1 pound garnet yams, scrubbed
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped green garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a sharp chef’s knife slice1/8-inch along the top of each potato, stopping 1/2 inch from the bottom. Put the potatoes into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
2. In a skillet, heat the butter and oil, saute the chilies garlic, and oregano until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Drizzle half of the mixture over the potatoes, making sure to get between the slices.
4. Roast for 40 minutes.
5. Brush with the remaining butter mixture, making sure to get between the slices.
6. Roast another 20 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through.
7. Sprinkle with the crumbled cheese and cilantro and serve.

Buttermilk Cornbread

Serves 4:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup corn kernels cut from the cob
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, coat the inside of an 8-inch square baking pan or 9-inch ovenproof skillet with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in egg, butter, and buttermilk until just combined. Stir in the corn.
3. Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Sift the confectioners sugar over the batter, bake until golden, 30 minutes in pan or 20 minutes in skillet.

Corn and Summer Squash Saute

Serves 4 to 6:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 torpedo onion, finely chopped
1 cup yellow corn cut from the cob
4 cups diced summer squash
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped basil

1. In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the butter and oil together. Add the onions and corn, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion is softened.
2. Add the squash, season with salt and pepper and saute for 5 to 7 minutes until the liquid in the pan is evaporated, and the squash is tender. Sprinkle in the basil and serve.

Stuffed Tomatoes

Serves 4:

2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound tomatoes, cut in half horizontally
Salt and pepper
Water

1. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, basil, parsley, and garlic.
2. Film the bottom of a large skillet with some of the oil, and place the tomatoes cut side up. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
3. Mound the breadcrumb mixture onto the cut side of the tomatoes, and drizzle with the remaining oil.
4. Cook over medium high heat, until the tomatoes begin to sizzle a bit, maybe 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of water to the skillet, cover and simmer gently on medium heat for 20 minutes.
5. Remove the cover, and ladle some of the juices over the breadcrumbs, turn up the heat to medium high and cook another 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and tender.
6. Serve the tomatoes warm or at room temperature.

Panzanella Salad

Serves 6:

1/2 pound cucumbers, scrubbed, seeded, and finely diced (about 2 cups)
2 cups chopped tomatoes
4 cups diced stale bread
2 torpedo onions, finely chopped using the white and tender green parts
1/2 cup pitted, chopped Kalamata olives
1 cup crumbled Feta
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup chopped basil, oregano, dill, or Italian parsley
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. In a large salad bowl, combine the cumbers, bread, onions tomatoes, olives, and Feta.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, sugar, herb of choice and olive oil.
3. Pour over the salad, toss to coat, and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving at room temperature.

Eat Your Greens Shakshuka

Serves 4 to 6:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced torpedo onion, using the red and tender green parts
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch Swiss chard, tough stems removed, and leaves cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup half-and-half or heavy cream
8 large eggs
1 cup cotija cheese or queso fresco, crumbled
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced for garnish

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, and saute the onion, garlic, and red pepper, until the onions begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the chard, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Saute until the chard is wilted.
3. Add the half and half or cream and stir to blend.
4. Make 8 indentations into the greens, and crack eggs onto each one. Season the eggs with salt and pepper, and crumble cheese over each egg. Cover and cook until the eggs are set, about 7 to 8 minutes.
5. Serve from the skillet, garnished with avocado.

Slow Cooker Italian Wedding Soup

Serves 6:

For the Soup
:
8 cups chicken broth
One bunch rainbow chard, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped
Parmigiano Reggianno cheese for garnish

1. Place the broth, and chard into the insert of a 5 to 7-quart slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low while preparing the meat balls.

Meat Balls:
Makes about 16 to 20 1-inch meatballs
1 pound ground turkey
2 slices soft crusted Italian bread
¼ cup milk
1 medium shallot chopped finely
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggianno cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper

1. In a large mixing bowl, pour the milk over the bread, and allow it to soak in.
2. Add the remaining ingredients into the bowl, and stir together until the mixture is combined, being careful not to compact it.
3. Using a small portion scoop, form the meat balls into 1-inch balls, and drop into the slow cooker containing the broth and vegetables.
4. Cover the slow cooker and cook the soup for 5 hours on low, until the meatballs float on the surface.
5. Remove any foam that may have formed on the top of the soup, season with salt and pepper and serve the soup garnished with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggianno cheese.

Nectarine and Chicken Saute

Serves 4:

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced torpedo onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons finely chopped sage
3 medium nectarines, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a shallow bowl or in a dinner plate, combine the salt, thyme, pepper, and flour.
2. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
3. In an ovenproof skillet, heat the butter and oil, add the chicken and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate, and cover with aluminum foil.
4. Add the onion garlic and sage to the skillet, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion is softened.
5. Add the nectarines, and saute for 2 minutes. Add the broth, lemon juice and honey, bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper, add the chicken back to the skillet, turning in the sauce, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice, orzo, farro or egg noodles.

Emerald Gem Cobbler

Serves 6:

One pound Emerald Gem plums, pitted, cut into wedges
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the inside of a deep dish 9-inch pie plate or cast iron skillet with non-stick cooking spray. In a bowl, combine the plums with the sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch, and put into the prepared pan.
2. In another bowl, mix together the sugar, flour baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter and buttermilk, until it forms a dough.
3. Drop by tablespoons onto the plums and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the cobbler topping is golden brown. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before serving.

Green Beans with Gremolata

Serves 4:

1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch lengths
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Grated zest of 2 lemons
Grated zest of 1 orange or tangerine
½ cup finely chopped Italian parsley

1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, and cook the beans for 3 to 5 minutes, until they are crisp/tender.
2. Drain thoroughly, and season with salt and pepper.
3. Toss with the olive oil.
4. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, zests, and the parsley.
5. Toss with the beans and serve.

Vegetarian Minestrone

Serves 6:

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped red torpedo onion
3 ribs celery diced
3 rainbow carrots, diced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped sage or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
1 bay leaf
6 cups vegetable broth
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes (4 to 5 small potatoes), cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 bunch rainbow chard, tough stems removed, sliced into 1/2-inch ribbons
One 14.5-ounce can white beans, like Great Northern or cannellini, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, saute the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, sage, and bay leaf, for 4 to 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.
2. Add the broth, potatoes, green beans, chard, and white beans. Simmer for 1 hour, until the vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaf.
3. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
4. Variation: Adding chopped Parmigiano Reggiano rinds to the broth enhances the flavor.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box July 22nd 2021

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This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Braised Yu Choy

Serves 2 to 4:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 bunch yu choy, tough stems removed
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil for garnish
Sesame seeds for garnish

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, and swirl the garlic and ginger in the pan for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the yu choy, tossing to coat with the garlic oil.
2. Add the broth and soy sauce and cook until the yu choy is wilted, and the liquid in the pan is almost evaporated.
3. Serve garnished with sesame oil, and sesame seeds if desired.

Shrimp and Yu Choy Stir Fry

Serves 4:

2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Mirin rice wine
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 bunch yu choy, washed, spun dry and chopped
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cups steamed rice for serving

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oyster sauce, soy sauce, Mirin, sugar, cornstarch, and sesame oil. Set aside.
2. In a wok, or large skillet, heat the oil, add the garlic and ginger, and swirl in the pan over medium high heat for 30 seconds until fragrant.
3. Add the y choy, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until it begins to soften.
4. Add the shrimp and toss in the oil and yu choy, until it begins to turn pink.
5. Add the sauce mixture and cook until it thickens, and the shrimp have all turned pink. Serve over steamed rice.
6. Cook’s Note: You can sub in 1 pound chicken, cut into bite sized pieces, or firm tofu if you like.

Carrots with Fresh Herb Ranch Dip

Serves 4 to 6:

1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
Carrots, peeled, and cut into 2-inch lengths for dipping.

1. Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. The dip will keep well in the refrigerator for about a week. Use it as a dressing for potato or pasta salad, or as a topping for baked potatoes.
2. Serve the dip with the cut and peeled carrots, or other raw veggies.

Zucchini and Poblano Salsa

Makes about 3 cups

2 cups chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons lime juice

1. Combine all the ingredients in a glass bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
2. This is a great dip for chips, or as a garnish for roasted/grilled meats and poultry.

Stuffed Poblano Chilies

Serves 4 to 6:

6 poblano peppers
1 cup shredded mild cheddar
1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup fresh salsa
1/2 cup sour cream + additional for garnish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon diced green onion
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 cup cooked white rice

1. Preheat the broiler and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Wash the poblano peppers and place them on the baking sheet.
2. Broil about 4-5 minutes on each side. You want to see the skin blacken and start to bubble.
3. Remove the peppers from the oven, cover with a towel and let cool for about 10-15 minutes.
4. Once the peppers are cool, peel off the skin and cut a slit on the top of the pepper under the stem and down the length of the pepper, removing the inside and seeds. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
5. While the peppers are roasting, in a large bowl, combine the cheeses, chicken, salsa, sour cream, cilantro, onion, lime juice and rice.
6. Stuff the mixture into the peppers, and roast for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve with additional sour cream and salsa on the side.

Pasta Carbonara Style with Summer Squash

Serves 6

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups summer squash, 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 squash until the squash 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.

Savory Zucchini and Tomato Bread Pudding

Serves 6:

One 6-ounce baguette, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 cups sliced cherry or grape tomatoes
Salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Arrange the baguette slices on a large baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Season the bread with salt and pepper and bake for about 6 minutes, until crisp and golden brown.
2. In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the zucchini, onion and thyme, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring a few times, until just tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Add 1/4 cup of the broth and the heavy cream and simmer over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer half of the zucchini mixture to a plate and reserve.
4. Spread the remaining zucchini in an even layer in the skillet. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Gruyère and 1 tablespoon of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and top with a layer of toasted baguette slices. Spread the reserved zucchini mixture over the toasts and sprinkle with an additional 1/4 cup of Gruyère and 1 tablespoon of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Arrange alternatively slices of tomato and baguette on top in concentric circles. Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère and 3 tablespoons of grated cheese.
5. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Carefully pour the remaining 1/4 cup of broth around the edge of the skillet and over the top.
6. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the top is browned, and the tomatoes have released their juices. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Pickled Beets

Makes about 4 cups:

1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, quartered
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
1 whole clove
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bunch beets, tops removed, peeled, and cut into 2-by-1/2-inch sticks

1. In a saucepan, bring the vinegar mixture, sugar, onion, garlic, mustard seeds, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, thyme, and oregano to a boil.
2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the beets until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Drain and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot liquid over the beets and let stand at room temperature for 4 hours or refrigerate overnight. Drain the beets, transfer to a bowl, and serve.

Chocolate Beet Cake

Makes 2 9-inch layers, or 24 cupcakes:

2 medium beets, trimmed
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup hot water
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the beets on a baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Roast the beets for 45 to 60 minutes, until the sharp tip of a paring knife inserted into the beets goes in easily. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and puree in a food processor or blender. You will need 3/4 cup of beets.
2. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Coat the inside of two 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray, or line muffin tins with paper liners.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
4. In an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the grated beets and the vanilla.
6. Dissolve the espresso powder in the water.
7. Slowly add half of the flour mixture, add the water and the remaining flour mixture, and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, smoothing the tops.
8. Bake the cakes, rotating halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 25 minutes, or 15 to 20 minutes for cupcakes. Cool the cakes in their pans on a rack for 10 minutes and then turn them out onto racks. Let the cakes cool completely.
For the Frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup cocoa powder
4 to 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
Milk or water to thin the frosting

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the cocoa powder, sugar, and espresso powder. Beat until smooth.
2. Beat in the vanilla and some of the milk or water to thin to a spreading consistency.
3. Place one of the cakes on a cake plate and spread frosting evenly over the top. Top with the second cake and spread a generous 1/2 cup frosting over it. Frost the sides with the remaining frosting.
4. If you are frosting cupcakes, using a large star tip and a pastry bag to pipe a nice star onto the top of the cupcakes.

Fingerling Nachos

Serves 4:

1/2 pound fingerling potatoes, scrubbed, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup finely chopped red torpedo onions
6 slices thick cut bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, in a bowl, combine the potatoes, oil, salt and pepper, tossing to
coat. Spread the potatoes into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish, and roast for 35 to 45 minutes until the potatoes are crispy.
2. Sprinkle with the cheese, and bake another 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling.
3. Serve the nachos garnished with sour cream, onion, and bacon if using. Serve with small plates.

Pizza-Pie Potatoes

Serves 4:

1/2 pound fingerling potatoes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1. Put the potatoes into water to cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes until almost tender.
2. Remove from the water and cool slightly.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat the inside of a 10-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
4. Thinly slice the potatoes and lay them into the baking dish.
5. In a bowl, combine the oil, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.
6. Drizzle some of the garlic oil over the potatoes.
7. Lay the tomatoes over the potatoes, drizzle with the remaining oil, and cover with the mozzarella and Parmigiano.
8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are crispy, and the cheeses are melted, and golden brown.
9. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Potato and Yellow Bean Salad

Serves 4 to 6:

1/2 pound fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 pound yellow beans, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch lengths
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

1. Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes, and cook for 30 minutes, add the beans, and cook another 5 minutes until the beans are tender. Drain thoroughly and transfer the vegetables to a salad bowl. Cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, basil, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Pour over the potatoes and beans and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature.

Eggplant Timbalo

Serves 4 to 6:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound mixed eggplants, stem ends removed, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano or similar sharp cheese
1/4 pound ham, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
3 large eggs
8-ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced, or similar melting cheese
4 cups marinara sauce either homemade or store bought

1. In a measuring cup, combine the oil, salt, and pepper. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with silicone liners, or aluminum foil.
2. Lay the eggplant slices on the prepared baking sheets, and brush with the oil.
3. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
4. In large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Pecorino cheese, ham, parsley, and eggs and set aside.
5. Line the inside of a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil and lower the heat to 350 degrees. Pour 1 cup of marinara into the bottom of the pan. Top with slices of eggplant.
6. Spread a layer of the bread crumb mixture over the eggplant, top with another layer of eggplant, a layer of mozzarella and the remaining bread crumb mixture, and the remaining eggplant and the remaining mozzarella. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 30 minutes to firm up. Remove the spring form, and cut the timbale into slices, and serve in a pool of the remaining marinara sauce.

Sicilian Eggplant Relish

Serves 6:
Serve this dish with grilled or roasted meats, seafood, or poultry. It is also delicious served on crostini with fresh ricotta.

1 pound mixed eggplant, stem end trimmed
Salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup capers, drained
1/4 cup chopped green olives

1. Slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch thick slices, and then cut into 1/2-inch dice. Put the eggplant into a colander and sprinkle with salt.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the onion and celery, and saute until the onion begins to turn translucent.
3. Press any water out of the eggplant, and pat dry on paper towels.
4. Add the eggplant to the onions and celery, saute until the eggplant is golden brown.
5. Add the tomato, vinegar, and sugar.
6. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
7. Add the capers and olives and keep warm until ready to serve.
8. Caponata is better the next day, after the flavors get to know one another.

Marinated Boccacini and Cherry Tomatoes

Serves 6:

1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese (preferably the small balls)
1 basket mixed grape tomatoes, washed
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Put the cheese and tomatoes into a bowl.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Allow the mixture to marinate for at least 2 hours at room temperature. Serve with skewers or toothpicks.

White Peach Bars

Serves 6:

3 large ripe but firm white peaches
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp rolled oats, quick cooking or regular

1. Set the oven to 350F. coat a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Wash and slice the peaches. Put the slices in a bowl and toss gently with the lemon juice and the cornstarch. Set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together and then beat in the salt and the vanilla. Blend in the flours and stir just until the mixture comes together in a crumbly texture. Do not add the rolled oats at this time.
4. Take about 2/3 of the dough and press lightly into the bottom of your prepared baking dish. Flour your hands if the dough is too sticky to pat down.
5. Give the peaches a final toss and lay them out across the dough. If they are super juicy, don’t add all the extra juices.
6. Mix the oats into the remaining dough with your fingertips. Crumble it over the peaches. Don’t worry about covering all the fruit, some can peek through.
7. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until the crust is just beginning to turn golden around the edges and the fruit is bubbling.
8. Cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Grilled Nectarine Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

Serves 4

2 nectarines, halved and pitted
Raw sugar
One head Salanova lettuce, washed and spun dry
1/4 cup mango nectar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese, Feta, or blue cheese for garnish

1. Preheat the grill or broiler for 10 minutes, dip each nectarine half into the raw sugar, cut side down.
2. Grill cut side down, or broil cut side up until the sugar is bubbling, and the nectarine is softened. Remove from the grill/broiler and allow to rest.
3. Plate the lettuce.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the nectar, vinegar, mustard, and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Put a nectarine half onto the lettuce, drizzle the salad with the dressing, and garnish with the cheese and serve.

Nectarine Tart

Serves 6

1 9-inch prebaked pie crust or graham cracker crust
1 cups heavy cream
8-ounces mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
3 yellow nectarines, pitted, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup apricot jam

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Add the mascarpone and sugar and beat to combine.
2. Spread the mixture into the prepared pie crust.
3. Arrange the nectarines on top of the mascarpone.
4. Warm the jam and brush it over the nectarines to seal the fruit.
5. Refrigerate the pie for 2 hours. Serve cold.

@Dianephillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmers’ Market Box July 15th 2021

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This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Street Corn Pasta Salad

Serves 6:
This recipe is easily doubled or tripled for a crowd. It’s terrific with grilled carne Asada, or pollo Asada.


1/2 pound shaped pasta (penne, shells, elbows, farfalle, small rigatoni) cooked 2 minutes short of al dente
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
2 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob (you should have about 1 cup)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped cucumber
1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1. Put the cooked and drained pasta into a large salad bowl and allow to cool.
2. In a saute pan, heat the butter, saute the onion, jalapeno, and corn for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion is softened. Season with salt and pepper. When cooled, transfer to the bowl with the pasta, adding the cilantro, red pepper, cucumber and cotija cheese.
3. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise sour cream, chipotle, and lime juice. Pour over the pasta and vegetables and toss to combine and coat. Season with salt and pepper if needed, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Re-toss before serving.

Pan Roasted Salmon over Ratatouille

Serves 6:

For the Ratatouille
:
If you got the Farmer’s Choice use the San Marzano Tomatoes, otherwise, Romas or cherry tomatoes—you’ll need 2 cups chopped

1 red onion, sliced ½” thick
1/2 pound Italian long peppers, cored and chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 medium eggplant, cut into ½” chunks
2 medium zucchini or summer squash, trimmed and cut into ¼” thick rounds
4 Roma tomatoes, (canned or fresh depending on the season), cored, and cut into ½” chunks
6 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried herbs de Provence
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
¼ cup finely chopped basil

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. In a large bowl, toss the onions, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and herbs de Provence. Season the mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Spread the vegetables into a baking dish (13 x 9”).
4. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 15 minutes and remove from the oven.

Roasted Salmon

½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
2½ pounds salmon filets
½ cup unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
⅛ teaspoon cayenne
1 lemon, grated zest of
¼ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon paprika
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a shallow dish, combine the oil and Old Bay seasoning.
2. Dip the filets in the mixture, turning them to coat. Lay the salmon over the partially cooked ratatouille in the baking dish.
3. In a small skillet, heat the butter; add the garlic, cayenne, and lemon zest. Sauté for 1 minute. Cool, and add the lemon juice and paprika.
4. Pour ½ the mixture over the salmon, and roast for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. When the salmon is cooked through, (160°F on an instant read meat thermometer) remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
5. Serve each filet over ratatouille and drizzled with the remaining garlic butter sauce.
6. Cook’s note: this recipe also works with other thick fleshed fish such as seabass, or halibut.

Eggplant Meatballs

Serves 6:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant, stem end trimmed, and cut in half (about 1 pound) If you have small eggplants, cut them in half lengthwise
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 20 to 30 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 meatballs 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.

Roasted Tomato Sauce:

Makes about 3 cups
In the winter when tomatoes aren’t at their peak of ripeness, Italians will roast canned Roma tomatoes with aromatics to intensify and concentrate their flavor. This is a great trick for getting a full flavored sauce, with not so flavorful tomatoes. If you got the San Marzano tomatoes, you could try this with those, cutting the tomatoes in half.
Three 28-ouce cans peeled whole Roma tomatoes
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
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a jelly roll pan with a silicone liner, parchment paper, or aluminum foil.
2. Cut the tomatoes in half and put 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, 35 to 45 minutes, checking to make sure that the tomatoes and garlic don’t brown.
4. Transfer the tomato mixture to blender or food processor, and pulse to break up the tomatoes. Stir in the basil and parsley.
5. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Mediterranean Stewed Green Beans

Serves 4:

1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cups crushed tomatoes, either canned or fresh
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper

1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, add the beans, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until crisp/tender. Drain, and season with salt and pepper.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the garlic and onion, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes until the onion is softened.
3. Deglaze the pan with the wine.
4. Add the tomatoes, beans, mint and parsley and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until the beans are tender. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with the feta.

Green Bean Salad with Fresh Mozzarella

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 pound blue lake green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces, and trimmed
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed, or 8 ounces boccacini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup finely chopped basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts for garnish

1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil and cook the green beans for 3 to 4 minutes, until crisp/tender.
2. Drain thoroughly, and season well with salt and pepper. Put into a salad bowl and cool.
3. Add the onion and mozzarella.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, basil, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Pour over the bean mixture and toss to coat. Allow the salad to marinate at room temperature for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, sprinkle with pine nuts.
6. Cook’s note: This is a great salad to add to—you could add diced cucumber, and cherry tomatoes if you have them on hand.

Summer Squash and Pepper Saute

Serves 4 to 6:
Similar to Pepperonata, this saute is terrific with grilled meats, chicken and seafood.


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large red onion, thinly sliced into 1/2 moons
3 cups diced summer squash
1/2 pound Italian long peppers, cored and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 cup tomato puree
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, saute the garlic in the oil for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
2. Add the onion, and saute another 2 to 3 minutes until it begins to soften.
3. Add the squash, and peppers, tossing in the oil. Saute for 10 minutes turning frequently, until the peppers and squash begin to soften, and the squash has turned golden.
4. Add the tomato puree, season with salt and pepper and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Serve the saute warm or at room temperature garnished with grated Parmigiano.

Crudites with Homemade Ranch Dressing

Serves 6

For the Dressing
:
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

1. In a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and zest.

For the Crudites
:
1/2 pound blue lake green beans
1 bunch mixed carrots, tops removed, scraped, and cut into matchsticks
1 cucumber, scrubbed, ends removed, and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
3/4 pound mixed summer squash, ends trimmed, and cut into bite sized pieces

1. Blanch the green beans in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, drain, and cool.
2. Arrange the beans, carrots, cucumber, and squash on a serving platter. Arrange the dip in a small bowl and place in the center of the vegetables and serve.

Curried Carrot Soup

Serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon sweet curry powder
1 bunch carrots, scraped, and cut into 1-inch lengths
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
Salt and pepper

1. In a Dutch oven, heat the butter, and saute the onion and curry powder for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion begins to soften.
2. Add the carrots and broth. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
3. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add the cream, and parsley. Taste for seasoning and adjust using salt or pepper. Serve the soup warm.

Roasted Honey Carrots

Serves 4:

1 bunch carrots, tops removed, scrubbed/peeled, cut into quarters
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon (or more) ground cumin
Few drops Sriracha
Carrot tops

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment, aluminum foil or silicone.
2. In a bowl, combine the carrots, honey, cumin and Sriracha.
3. Lay on the baking sheet in one layer and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
4. Wash the carrot tops and spin dry, chop a few and sprinkle them over the roasted carrots for garnish.
5. Carrot tops can also be made into a pesto.

Twice Baked Japanese Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves 4:

1 1/4 pounds Japanese sweet potatoes, scrubbed and pierced with the sharp tip of a paring knife
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 scallions, finely chopped using the white and tender green parts
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
6 strips bacon, cooked crisp, and crumbled

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Bake the potatoes for 40 to 50 minutes until they are soft to the touch.
3. While the potatoes are baking, in a skillet heat the butter, and saute the leeks until they are translucent. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
4. Remove the potatoes from the oven, and slice in half lengthwise.
5. Remove the flesh with a spoon and turn into the bowl with the leeks.
6. Mash the potatoes with 1 cup of cheddar cheese, and the sour cream. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Turn the potatoes into the baking dish, sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and bacon.
7. Reduce the oven to temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted, and potatoes are cooked through.

Summer Gazpacho

Serves 4 to 6:

1 medium red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 Italian frying peppers seeded and diced
2 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar
1 cup ice cubes
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 pound ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
1/4 cup Italian parsley
1/4 basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
5 whole scallions, thinly sliced

1. In a blender or food processor combine the onion, garlic, and half the peppers. Sprinkle with vinegar and let stand while peeling the tomatoes.
2. Add the ice to the onion mixture and process until chopped but not puréed. Add half the cucumbers, all but one tomato, the parsley and basil leaves. Process until finely chopped but still chunky.
3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and check for balance, adding more vinegar if needed.
4. Chill at least 1 hour.
5. Taste again and thin with cold water if desired. Serve the gazpacho chilled, with bowls of the reserved cucumbers, peppers, scallions, and the remaining chopped tomatoes as garnishes.

Stuffed Tomatoes

Serves 2 to 4:
These are a staple at our home during the summer when vine ripened tomatoes are available. They are terrific with grilled seafood, or meats.


Extra virgin olive oil:
1 pound San Marzano tomatoes, cut in half horizontally
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (run the bread through a food processor)
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper

1. Film a skillet that will fit the tomato halves snugly with olive oil. Fit the tomatoes into the skillet, and season liberally with salt and pepper,
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, basil, parsley, and garlic. Season the crumbs with salt and pepper and toss with 2 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil to moisten the crumbs. Pile onto the tomato halves and bring the heat to medium high. When the oil begins to sizzle, add 1/2 cup water, and turn the heat to medium. Cover the pan and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, remove the cover, baste the tomatoes with the pan juices, and cook another 15 to 20 minutes, basting with the juices until the tomatoes are softened, and the crumbs are melting into the tomatoes.
3. The tomatoes can be served hot, warm or at room temperature.

Plum Ricotta Cake

Makes one 9-inch cake:
This is a terrific cake to use as a template—try using any soft fruits for this; I’ve used berries, cherries, peaches, and figs. Change the flavoring from lemon to orange, or almond.


1¼ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup fresh whole milk ricotta
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 plums, thinly sliced and pitted
2 tablespoons light brown granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350F, coat the inside of a 9-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each one in.
3. Next add the ricotta and the sour cream, vanilla and extract and mix well.
4. Mix the dry ingredients together, then add them to the wet mixture, just folding them in until mixed. Don’t over beat.
5. Pour the dough into buttered cake tin, and level it out with a spoon. Arrange the plums on the top of the batter in a decorative pattern on top of the batter. Sprinkle the cake with the sugar and bake for 40 minutes.
6. Let cool, remove from pan, and serve with whipped cream or creme fraiche.

Savory Plum Tart

Serves 6:
This is a beautiful appetizer or first course, made with frozen puff pastry and a few other ingredients.


1 sheet puff pastry rolled to 14-inch circle or rectangle
One 5.5-ounce container Boursin cheese, softened
4 plums, halved, pitted, and thinly sliced
Apricot jam

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with foil, parchment, or silicone. Prick the pastry all over with the tines of a fork.
2. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool.
3. Meanwhile, mash the cheese so it is spreadable.
4. When the pastry is cooled, spread with the cheese. Top with the plums in a decorative pattern.
5. Brush the plums with the jam and bake again for 20 minutes, until the crust is golden, and the jam is bubbling.
6. Let the pastry rest for 10 minutes, then cut into wedges or squares. The tart is best served at room temperature.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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Farmer’s Market Box July 1st 2021

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This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Garnet Yam Home Fries

Serves 6:

1 1/2 pounds Garnet yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
2 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone.
2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, tossing to coat them evenly.
3. Roast for 20 minutes, turn the yams, and cook another 15 to 20 minutes until crispy. Serve hot.

Baked Stuffed Garnet Yam

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound garnet yams, scrubbed and pricked all over with the tip of a paring knife
1//4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped leek, using the white part only
2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme leaves
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek Style yogurt
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and roast the yams for 50 to 60 minutes until they are soft when pinched with an oven mitt. Remove from the oven, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
2. While the potatoes are roasting, melt the butter, and saute the leek and thyme leaves, season with salt and pepper and saute until the leeks are golden brown. Add to the bowl with the yam flesh, stir in the sour cream, and Gruyere cheese, mashing the potatoes till smooth. Season with salt and pepper, and restuff the yam halves, putting them onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano and bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted.
3. Cook’s Note: Once restuffed, the yams can be cooled, and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

Crudites with Caesar Dip

Serves 6:

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients, until blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve with crudites.

Crudites: sugar snap peas strings removed, cucumbers washed, and cut into 1/2-inch rounds, broccoli florets, summer squash washed, and cut into spears, or chunks, purple carrots, scrubbed, and cut into spears.

Chicken Breasts with White Port Sauce on Braised Leeks

Serve 8

4 medium leeks, with coarse green ends trimmed
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
Ground pepper to taste

1. Split leeks lengthwise to within ½ inch of their roots. Rinse under cold water. Drain and cut into 1 inch lengths. Melt butter in a 4 quart saucepan.
2. Add leeks and cook gently, stirring occasionally until soft, about 10 minutes. Add cream, salt and pepper and cook over medium high heat until cream is thick enough to coat leeks. Keep warm while preparing chicken.

8 chicken breast halves, boned and skinned
Salt
Ground pepper
1 cup port wine
1 cup beef stock or beef broth
1 stick butter, chilled and cut into 8 pieces

1. Pat the chicken dry, and season with salt and pepper. Pour port and broth into a large saute pan. Arrange chicken breasts in a single layer. Cut a piece of aluminum foil to fit pan and place directly on the chicken.
2. Cook over high heat until chicken is firm to the touch. NO MORE THAN 8 MINUTES!
3. Transfer to plate to cover loosely with aluminum foil.
4. Boil liquid over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup.
5. Whisk butter, one piece at a time, waiting until each piece is incorporated before adding another. Adjust seasoning. Spoon leeks onto platter and chicken breasts over them. Drizzle with sauce.

Cold Cucumber Dill Soup

Serves 6:

3 cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 cup Greek-style or other thick, whole-milk plain yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 leek, using the white and tender green portions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 garlic clove, chopped
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 cup vegetable broth
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Coarsely chop 5 of the cucumber halves and transfer to a large bowl. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, zest, leeks, dill, garlic, salt, and white pepper.
2. Stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour to blend the flavors. Dice the remaining cucumber half and set aside until ready to serve.
3. In a blender, puree the cucumber mixture until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the stock and puree until it is fully incorporated, about 30 seconds.
4. Transfer to a pitcher, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
5. The soup can be prepared up to 12 hours in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
6. Just before serving, stir in the diced cucumber and olive oil. Serve in widemouthed glasses or cups.

Broccoli Potato Soup

Serves 4 to 6:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 broccoli florets
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
salt and pepper

1. In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of butter with the oil. Saute the onion over medium-high heat, until almost caramelized–this will take about 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
3. Add the potatoes, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until the potatoes have begun to color.
4. Add the broth, and broccoli.
5. Bring to a boil, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
6. Add the remaining butter and Parmigiano, season with salt and pepper, and serve warm.

Broccoli, Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Serves 4 to 6:

One pound shaped pasta such as medium shells, rotini, rigatoni
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, or Pecorino Romano

1. Bring 8 quarts of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook according to the package directions. 4 minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccoli to the pasta water. Drain the pasta and broccoli, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
2. While the pasta is cooking heat, the oil is a small skillet, saute the garlic, red pepper, and zest for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
3. In a serving bowl, combine the lemon juice, ricotta, garlic mixture and 1/2 cup of Parmigiano. Add the hot broccoli to the bowl and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish each serving with the remaining cheese.

Summer Squash Provencal

Serves 6:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 pound summer squash, stem and root ends removed, and thinly sliced
2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes, or one 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
Salt and pepper
4 large eggs
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil, and saute the garlic and onion until the onion is soften. Add the squash, tomatoes and thyme, season with salt and pepper and simmer until the mixture has thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, and pour over the squash mixture.
4. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for 30 to 45 minutes until the eggs are set.
5. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.

Broccoli Salad with Farro

Serves 6:

One bunch broccoli, cut into florets
2 cups pearlized farro
2 cups purple carrots, scrubbed, scraped, and finely chopped
6 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup finely chopped leeks, using only the white part
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons tangerine or orange juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts for garnish

1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, and cook the broccoli for 4 minutes, until crisp/tender. Drain thoroughly, season with salt and pepper and put into a salad bowl.
2. Cook the farro in 4 cups of water or broth for 20 minutes until tender. Drain thoroughly and add to the salad bowl along with the carrots.
3. While the farro is cooking cook the bacon in a skillet, until crisp, add the leeks and saute until the leeks begin to turn translucent. Add the vinegar, honey, orange juice and oil to the skillet and bring to a boil.
4. Add to the farro and broccoli in the bowl tossing to coat. Season with salt and pepper, serve at room temperature garnished with toasted pine nuts.

Ginger Garlic Sauteed Mustard Greens

Serves 2 to 4:

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger root
1 bunch mustard greens, tough stems removed, washed, spun dry and chopped
1/2 cup vegetable broth, or water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

1. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil with the garlic and ginger, swirl in the pan for 30 seconds till fragrant.
2. Add the greens, tossing to coat with the oil.
3. Add the broth, sugar, soy sauce, and vinegar, and saute till the greens are tender, about 3 minutes, tossing frequently to combine.
4. Serve hot, or at room temperature garnished with sesame seeds.

Margaritaville Grilled Chicken

Serves 6 to 8:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup tangerine 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 chopped fresh cilantro, or Italian parsley, plus extra for garnish
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 or 2 tangerines, segmented 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.
5. Grill or broil on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil until cooked through and golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
6. Serve garnished with segmented tangerines and chopped cilantro.

Tangerine Upside Down Cake

Serves 10:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
6 to 8 tangerines, peeled and segmented

1. Coat the interior of a 10-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat, then add the brown sugar and stir for a few minutes until the brown sugar is completely combined and melted.
3. Pour the butter/brown sugar mixture over the bottom of the cake pan and arrange the tangerine segments on the sugar syrup. Set aside while making the cake batter.

For the Cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon tangerine zest
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh tangerine juice
2 cups heavy cream, whipped stiffly for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and zest.
3. Add 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, add with the flour, baking soda and salt, and beat until the mixture comes together and is smooth.
5. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Transfer the cake pan to a rack and allow to cool for EXACTLY 10 minutes.
7. Turn the cake out onto a serving platter and serve at room temperature.
8. Refrigerate any leftover cake, and re-warm before serving, garnish with whipped cream, crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream.

Tangerine Olive Oil Cake

Makes one 9-inch round cake:

1 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated tangerine rind
1/4 cup tangerine juice
1 1/2 cups chopped Tangerine segments
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1. Coat the inside of a 9-inch cake pan that is at least 2-inches deep with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, eggs, rind, juice, and segments.
4. Add the flour, sugar, salt, soda, and powder. Beating until just combined.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour until the top is golden and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
6. Transfer the cake to a rack to cool for 30 minutes.
7. Invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely before serving.

Summer Squash Green Chile Frittata

Serves 6 to 8:
I love to serve this as an appetizer, it’s equally good as a side dish with grilled meats and seafood. It can be served warm or at room temperature.


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped leek using the white and tender green parts
3 cups summer squash, stem and root ends removed, and coarsely grated
Salt and pepper
One 7-ounce can diced green chiles, drained
8 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

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 skillet, melt the butter, add the leek and squash to the pan, and saute until the squash loses its moisture. Season with salt and pepper. Cool the mixture and put it into a mixing bowl with the chiles.
3. Stir in the chiles, eggs, flour, and the cheeses.
4. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the frittata is set. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

Stir Fry Shrimp and Sugar Snap Peas and Baby Corn

Serves 4:

1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
1/4 pound baby corn, shucked and quartered
1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Steamed rice for serving

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the broth, soy sauce, chile garlic sauce and cornstarch. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet or wok heat the oil and swirl the ginger for 30 seconds until fragrant.
3. Add the snap peas and corn saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until crisp/tender. Add the shrimp and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes until they turn pink.
4. Add the sauce to the wok, and simmer for 1 minute until the sauce is thickened. Taste for seasoning and adjust using soy, or chile-garlic sauce. Serve garnished with sesame seeds over steamed rice.

Pork Peanut Curry with Baby Corn

Serves 4 to 6:

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced leek, using the white and tender green parts
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
One 14.5-ounce can light coconut milk
1/4 pound baby corn, shucked
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
steamed jasmine rice, to serve

1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, add the leek and cilantro and saute for 2 minutes till the leek is softened.
2. Add the pork and brown on all sides.
3. Add the curry paste, peanut butter, sugar, soy, and coconut milk. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the pork is tender.
4. Add the corn, cover and simmer 5 more minutes. Sprinkle the lime juice over the curry and stir to combine. Serve over jasmine rice.

Showtime Poached Plums

Serves 2 to 4:

One bottle Prosecco
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 pound Showtime Plums, halved and pitted

1. In a Dutch oven combine the Prosecco, brown sugar, and cinnamon stick.
2. Add the plu
3. Remove the plums from the syrup and bring the syrup to a boil. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes until syrupy.
4. Serve the plums with the syrup, over vanilla ice cream, or with a dollop of crème fraiche or Greek style yogurt.

Watermelon Lemonade

Serves 8:

1 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 9 lemons)
1 ½ cups superfine sugar
4 ½ cups water
2 lemons sliced into rounds; seeds removed
2 cups watermelon puree (puree watermelon chunks in a blender or food processor)
Ice cubes
1. In a large pitcher, combine the lemon juice and sugar stirring to dissolve the sugar. Slowly pour in the water and continue to stir until the mixture is blended. Taste the lemonade for flavor, adding more sugar if needed, or more lemon juice.
2. Do-Ahead: Refrigerate the lemonade for at least 4 hours, up to 5 days or freeze for 6 weeks, defrost before serving. When ready to serve, float the sliced lemons in the lemonade add the watermelon puree, stir, and serve over ice.
Lemonade Tip: To avoid watering down the lemonade, make a batch of lemonade ice cubes to toss into the pitcher, otherwise, have an ice bucket filled with cubes for serving.

Watermelon Feta and Mint Salad

Serves 6:

One mini watermelon, quartered, rind removed, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 cup finely chopped mint (or basil or oregano)
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Arrange the watermelon on a serving platter, sprinkle with the mint, feta and olives, and drizzle with the olive oil.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
Follow me on Facebook (professional page) Twitter and Pinterest

Farmers’ Market Box June 24th 2021

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This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Caramelized Onion Bread Pudding

Serves 6 to 8:
Try this delicious side dish with roasted or grilled meats, or poultry.


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 large onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, mashed
5 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
5 shakes of Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
6 cups white bread cubes with crusts removed
1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large skillet, heat the butter with the oil over medium heat until the butter melts and the foam subsides. Add the onions, stir to coat with the butter, and cook until they begin to turn translucent. Sprinkle with the sugar, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onions become golden. Remove from the skillet and cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, Tabasco, and Worcestershire. Stir in the bread, Gruyere, onion mixture, and parsley. Pour into the prepared dish and sprinkle the top evenly with the cheese.
4. Do-Ahead: At this point, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the pudding until golden brown and bubbling, 45 to 55 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving

Marinated Onions

4 large, sweet 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.
3. Do-Ahead: At this point, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
4. Drain the onions and serve cold or at room temperature.

Caramelized Onion Dip

Makes about 2 cups:

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound large yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
4 sprigs thyme
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Crudites for serving
Pita chips, tortilla chips or crostini for serving

1. In a large skillet, melt the butter, add the oil, and saute the onions, shallots and thyme until the onions are golden brown. This may take about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add wine and vinegar, stir to scrape up any browned bits form the bottom of the pan, bring to a simmer, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed.
3. Cool completely.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a gratin dish with non-stick cooking spray.
5. Chop the onions in a food processor, add the sour cream, chives, mayonnaise, and cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Transfer the mixture to the gratin dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the dip is bubbling.
7. Serve with fresh vegetables, pita chips, tortilla chips, or crostini.
8. Cooks Note: I love to bake this in a hollowed out sourdough bread bowl—once the dip is finished, you can cut up the bread, run it under the broiler and have the ultimate grilled cheese.

Baked Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Dip

Serves 6:

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces goat cheese, softened
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley
Toasted baguette slices or fresh vegetables to dip

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the inside of a gratin dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a 5-quart saucepan, heat 3 quarts of salted water. Add the cauliflower, and simmer until the cauliflower is crisp/tender, about 6 minutes.
3. Drain thoroughly and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
4. In a small skillet, melt the butter, and sauté the garlic and shallot for 2 minutes, until fragrant, add the red pepper flakes, and swirl in the pan for 10 seconds. Set aside to cool.
5. Place the cauliflower, garlic butter, Dijon mustard, cream cheese and goat cheese in a food processor, and process on and off until the mixture is smooth, with a few chunks of cauliflower.
6. Taste for seasoning and adjust using salt or pepper.
7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
8. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the dip for 2 days. Before baking, remove the baking dish from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking, and prooceed as directed.
9. In a small bowl, combine the Parmigiano, breadcrumbs, oil, and parsley, and stir until the crumbs are moistened. Sprinkle over top of the cauliflower mixture, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the dip is bubbling, and the topping is golden brown. Spread on crackers, baguette slices, or use as a dip for vegetables.

Sformato of Cauliflower with Fonduta Sauce

Serves 8:
This is an elegant dish that can be made ahead of time then popped into the oven. I love it with roasted meats, poultry, and seafood. It’s gorgeous with golden cauliflower.


One head cauliflower cut into florets
salt
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup milk
2 large eggs, beaten
¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
Freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
cracked or coarse black pepper, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and coat the inside of eight 6-ounce ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender.
3. Transfer to a food processor and puree.
4. In a saucepan, heat the butter, and whisk in the flour. Whisking for 2 minutes.
5. Slowly add the milk and bring to a boil.
6. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the cauliflower puree, eggs, and Parmigiano.
7. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
8. Pour the mixture into eight 6-ounce ramekins. Put the ramekins onto a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, until the sfmorati are set.
9. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before unmolding into a pool of fonduta sauce.

Fonduta Sauce:
8 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Freshly ground black pepper
1. In a bowl over simmering water, whisk together the yolks, and cream, and stir until the mixture becomes thickened, this will take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Gradually whisk in the cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted, and the sauce is smooth. Keep warm over the simmering water.
3. If the sauce becomes a bit too thick, whisk in hot water a few tablespoons at a time. Stir in freshly ground black pepper and serve over vegetables, pasta, or grilled seafood.

Roasted Eggplant Rollatini

Serves 6:

For the Eggplant:
One purple eggplant, stem and root end removed and sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch sliced
1 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking liners, aluminum foil, or parchment.
2. Lay the eggplant onto the baking sheets.
3. In a bowl, combine the oil, salt and pepper and brush the eggplant with the oil.
4. Bake for 10 minutes until the eggplant begins to soften, turn the eggplant, brush with the oil, and bake another 20 minutes until the eggplant is golden brown.
5. At this point you can cool, cover, and refrigerate the eggplant until ready to roll.

For the Sauce:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Two 28.5-ounce cans chopped tomatoes and their juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1. In a skillet, heat the oil, and saute the onion, basil, and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion begins to soften.
2. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Add the basil and parsley, and season again with salt and pepper.
4. Do-Ahead: The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Assembly:

8-ounces smoked Scarmorza or smoked mozzarella
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
Fresh Basil leaves for garnish (optional)

1. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Depending upon your eggplant you may need a 13-by-9-inch dish (for more than 8 slices of eggplant) or a 9 to 10-inch baking dish for 8 or less slices.
2. Cut the mozzarella into 1/4-inch slices.
3. Lay an eggplant slice on a flat surface and place the cheese in the center of the slice. Fold the eggplant over the cheese, and place seam side down on the sauce in the prepared pan.
4. Continue to roll the slices until they are all used.
5. Top each slice with some of the remaining sauce. Sprinkle any remaining cheese over the eggplant, and top with the parmesan.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the eggplant for 25 to 35 minutes, until the cheeses are melted, and bubbling. Serve garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Eggplant Caponata

Serves 6:

1 eggplant, stem end trimmed
Salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup capers, drained
1/4 cup chopped green olives

1. Slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch thick slices, and then cut into 1/2-inch dice. Put the eggplant into a colander and sprinkle with salt.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the onion and celery, and saute until the onion begins to turn translucent.
3. Press any water out of the eggplant, and pat dry on paper towels.
4. Add the eggplant to the onions and celery, saute until the eggplant is golden brown.
5. Add the tomato, vinegar, and sugar.
6. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
7. Add the capers and olives and keep warm until ready to serve.
8. Caponata is better the next day, after the flavors get to know one another.

Roasted Chard and Carrot Pasta

Serves 6:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 pound pancetta, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed
8 sage leaves, coarsely chopped
One onion, finely chopped
1 bunch rainbow chard, tough stems removed, leaves cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1 bunch rainbow carrots, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
One pound shaped pasta like farfalle, penne, rigatoni, or shells, cooked 3 minutes short of al dente saving some of the hot pasta water
1/2 cup 1/2 and 1/2 or hot pasta water
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with silicone, aluminum foil, or parchment.
2. In a large bowl, toss together the oil, pancetta, garlic, sage, onion, chard, and carrots. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
3. Spread onto the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, turn the vegetables and roast another 10 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
4. Toss the pasta with the vegetables add the 1/2 and 1/2 or pasta water and 1 cup of cheese to make a creamy sauce. Serve the pasta garnished with the remaining cheese.

Bistro Rainbow Carrot Salad

Serves 4 to 6:

1 bunch rainbow carrots, scraped and coarsely grated
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
Salt and pepper

1. Put the carrots into a salad bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, honey, and cumin.
3. Pour over the carrots and toss to coat. Fold in the cilantro or parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Ratatouille Potatoes

Serves 6:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups cubed eggplant
3 cups gold bar squash, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
One 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
One pound Satina potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large oven-proof skillet heat the oil, add the onion and garlic, saute for 2 to 3 minutes to soften.
3. Add the eggplant, squash, and herbs, and saute another 4 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper.
4. Add the potatoes and stirring to combine. Sprinkle the ratatouille with the cheeses and bake for 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Gold Bar Squash Muffins

Makes 12:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 cups shredded gold bar squash

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups into 12 muffin pan cups or coat the inside and tops of the muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in bowl; mix well.
3. Add the butter, eggs, and squash, and stir until combined.
4. Fill prepared muffin cups three-fourths full with the batter.
5. Bake 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan; remove to cooling rack.

Beet Panzanella

Serves 4 to 6:

1 bunch beets, scrubbed, tops removed
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups torn Italian bread, or a baguette, tough crusts removed
1 Navel orange, peel and pitch removed, and segmented
4 ounces ricotta salata crumbled
1 cup torn fresh herbs (such as dill, parsley, tarragon, and mint)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place beets on a baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil, and roast until the beets are tender (1 hour for baseball size, 40 minutes for medium, 20 for baby)
2. When cool enough to handle, slip off the skins, and cut into wedges.
3. In a salad bowl, combine the onion, beets, vinegar, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add the bread, orange, and ricotta salata and toss to coat.
5. Add the herbs and toss again. Serve at room temperature.
6. Cook’s Note: If you want to make this ahead, marinate the beets and onions, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Toss in the bread, orange, ricotta, and herbs just before serving.

Asian Radish and Onion Pickles

Makes about 4 cups:

2/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Few drops Sriracha
3 cups julienned radishes
1 onion, thinly sliced into 1/2 moons
2 cups carrots, julienned

1. In a saucepan heat together the vinegar, sugar, water and Sriracha until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Put the vegetables into a bowl and pour the hot liquid over the vegetables. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 12 hours.
3. Drain off the liquid and serve the pickles or refrigerate for up to 7 days.

Orzo Salad

Serves 6 to 8:

One 10-ounce package orzo pasta, cooked 2 minutes short of al dente
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup diced gold bar squash
1 cup julienned radishes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
¼ cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
½ cup toasted pine nuts
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup capers
Salt and pepper

1. Put the pasta into a salad bowl and allow to cool a bit.
2. Add the onion, squash, and radishes.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add to the salad, then toss to coat.
5. Add the cheese, pine nuts, parsley, and capers, and toss to combine.
6. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature, drizzled with more olive oil
7. If you wish to make this ahead of time, it can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
8. Remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before serving.

Plum and Strawberry Cobbler

Serves 4 to 6:

1/2 pound black splendor plums, pitted, and chopped
2 cups quartered strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cups sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup pecan halves

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 bowl, combine the plums, berries, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Pour into the prepared pan.
3. In a bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar, and egg. Spread over the fruit in the pan. Sprinkle with the pecans and bake for 40 to 50 minutes until the fruit is bubbling, and the top is golden brown.
4. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 to 45 minutes before serving topped with ice cream, crème fraiche, or unsweetened whipped cream.

Sugar Snap Pea and Steak Stir Fry

Serves 4

2 teaspoons grated orange zest plus 1/2 cup juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 ½ pounds flank steak, trimmed, cut into thirds lengthwise, and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
8 ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed
2 scallions, sliced thin
Steamed rice for serving

1. Combine orange zest and juice, soy sauce, oil, honey, garlic, and pepper flakes in bowl.
2. Combine beef and 1/3 cup orange juice mixture in 12-inch nonstick skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, and beef is caramelized, about 15 minutes.
3. Transfer beef to plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil.
4. Add remaining orange juice mixture and snap peas to now-empty skillet and cook, covered, over medium heat, until snap peas are bright green, about 2 minutes.
5. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, and snap peas are tender, about 1 minute.
6. Return beef to skillet and toss with snap peas to combine. Transfer to platter and sprinkle with scallions. Serve with steamed rice.

Sugar Snap Slaw

Serves 4 to 6:

8 ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed and sliced thin on bias
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced thin crosswise
6 radishes, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and sliced thin
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper

1. In a bowl, combine the snap peas, cucumber, and radishes.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, chives, zest, and lemon juice.
3. Toss with the vegetables, season with salt and pepper and serve.
4. The slaw will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

@Diane Phillps Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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