Crop Box Sunday! June 25th, 10:30AM to 2PM
I highly recommend a new cookbook, Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables by Joshua McFadden. He is a chef and restaurant owner in Portland. I love the way he combines flavors and textures in surprising ways. Sharing a couple of recipes to inspire you.
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Roasted Beets, Avocados and Sunflower Seeds
1 pound beets, ideally with pristine greens attached
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼ cup salted roasted sunflower seeds
½ cup lightly packed roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
4 scallions, trimmed (including ½ inch off the green tops), sliced on a sharp angle, soaked in ice water for 20 minutes, and drained well
½ cup lightly packed seeded, chopped pickled peppers, such as pepperoncini
2 firm-ripe avocados
Heat the oven to 375ºF. Trim the tops and bottoms off the beets. Wash the greens and spin dry in a salad spinner. Rinse and scrub the beets to remove any mud or grit. Cut up any larger beets so that they are all about the same size.
Put the beets in a baking dish that’s large enough to accommodate all of them in a single layer. Season with salt, then pour ¼ cup water into the dish. Cover tightly with foil and steam-roast until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife. Depending on the size, density, and age of the beets, this could take between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
Meanwhile, if you have beet greens to cook, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add a glug of olive oil, add the beet greens, and toss them until they are wilted and a bit stewed, about 5 minutes. Set aside until cool, then chop through them a few times.
When the beets are tender, let them cool until you can handle them, then rub or pare away the skins. Cut into ½-inch wedges or chunks and pile into a bowl. Add the greens.
While the beets are still warm, sprinkle with the vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and many twists of black pepper. Toss to distribute the seasonings and let the beets absorb the vinegar for a few minutes. Add a healthy glug of olive oil and toss again. Let the beets sit at room temperature until you’re ready to serve.
To assemble for serving, add the sunflower seeds, parsley, scallions, and pickled peppers and toss gently. Peel the avocados and cut them into neat chunks that are about the same size as the beet wedges, and add them to the beets, too. Toss thoroughly but very gently, so you don’t mash the avocado too much. Taste and adjust with more salt, black pepper, vinegar, or oil. Serve right away.
Joshua McFadden’s Cucumber Salad
Adapted by 101 Cookbooks. Serves 4.
1 pound cucumbers, unpeeled unless waxed
fine grain sea salt & lots of freshly cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon rose water
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup plain yogurt (not Greek)
1 bunch scallions, trimmed (including the root end and just 1/2 inch off the green tops), slice thinly on a sharp angle, soak in ice water for 20 minutes, drain well
1/4+ cup walnuts, lightly toasted, roughly chopped
1 small handful mint leaves
1 tiny handful rose petals, fresh or dried (from unsprayed roses)
Trim the ends of the cucumbers, halve lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Slice the cucumbers into shapes bite-sized shapes that echo their natural shape. Toss the cucumbers with 1 teaspoon salt and put in a colander so the salt can draw out the excess moisture. Let them sit for 30 minutes. Blot the cucumbers on paper towels to remove the moisture and excess salt and transfer to a large bowl.
Mix the rose water and vinegar together, add to the cucumbers and toss. Add the yogurt and toss again. Add the scallions, walnuts, mint, and rose petals. Season lightly with salt and lots of cracked pepper and toss again. Taste and adjust with more vinegar, salt, or pepper. Serve soon. Alternately, I’ve been serving the yogurt slathered across the bottom of a shallow bowl, adding the vinegar tossed cucumbers, scallions, walnuts etc. Then doing a very light toss.
To make into a full meal, serve over 1-2 cups cooked lentils.
And one more, which is as much a salad method as recipe. Start with vegetables—all kinds of vegetables treated all kinds of ways. Add crunch with nuts or seeds. Then make sure everything is lit up by a lightning bolt of acid (we like to use the word bracing). Finally, a dose of creaminess instantly turns light into satisfying.
How To Build a Better Salad
From Bon Appetit. 4 servings.
4 garlic cloves, smashed
½ cup heavy cream
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more
¼ cup blanched hazelnuts
4 small carrots, scrubbed
6 heads Little Gem lettuce
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, divided
½ cup mint leaves
1½ oz. SarVecchio or Parmesan, shaved
Flaky sea salt
Boost the Cream. Combine garlic and cream in a small bowl. Season with salt and ½ tsp. pepper. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Go Nuts. Toast the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350° oven, tossing occasionally, until golden, 8–10 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.
Veg Out. Thinly slice the carrots lengthwise on a mandoline and separate leaves from lettuce.
Get Dressed. Strain the infused cream into a medium bowl and add the oil. Whip to very soft peaks, then whisk in 1 Tbsp. lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
Bring It Home. Toss the carrots, lettuce, mint leaves, and half of hazelnuts with remaining 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add a few dollops of lemon cream and gently toss to coat. Spoon remaining lemon cream onto a platter and mound salad over. Top with cheese, remaining hazelnuts, and some cracked pepper and flaky sea salt.
Here is a vegan cioppino featuring summer vegetables. A little spicy, and fully of garlicky goodness. Of course, if you want to add seafood, you are free to do that.
Summer Veggie Cioppino
From Ohmyveggies.com. Serves 4.
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms caps, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 (14 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 cup vegetable broth
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
2 bay leaves
1 medium zucchini, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Coat the bottom of a large pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms. Cook about 4 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Remove the mushrooms from the pot and transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and bell pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the pepper is soft and the onions translucent. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute more, until very fragrant.
Return the mushrooms to the pot and stir in the wine. Raise the heat and bring it to a simmer. Lower the heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, until reduced by about half.
Stir in the chickpeas, diced tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, broth, sugar, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens up a bit and the mushrooms are very tender. Stir in the zucchini and continue cooking for about 5 minutes more, until tender.
Remove from heat and remove the bay leaves. Season the stew with salt and pepper to taste, and adjust any other seasonings to your liking.
Ladle into bowls and top with fresh parsley and basil. Serve with bread.
If you have a great cantaloupe, dress is up!
Chili-Lime Melons Salad
From Dishingupthedirt.com. Serves 2-4.
1 cantaloupe, seeded and sliced into wedges
juice from 1/2 a lime + more to taste
1/2-1 teaspoon chili powder
coarse sea salt
minced cilantro (as much or as little as you like!)
Sprinkle the sliced melon with the lime juice, chili powder, salt and cilantro.
Serve at room temperature.
For days you don’t want to cook at all, add one of these sandwiches to your melon salad.
From Thekitchn.com. Serves 2.
4 thick slices sourdough bread
1 medium avocado
1 small ripe tomato
4 thick slices whole-milk mozzarella
6 to 8 fresh basil leaves
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lightly toast the bread. Meanwhile, smash the pitted avocado with a little salt and pepper. Spread a thick layer of smashed avocado on the warm bread. Layer the cheese with the basil and tomato over the avocado.
And lastly, another recipe that can become a condiment staple in your house. It can be eaten as a dip for chips or veggies, to dress a salad, or a sauce for chicken. You need a food processor and 5 minutes!
5-Minute Magic Green Sauce
From PinchofYum.com. Makes about 2 cups.
1 cup packed parsley and cilantro leaves (combined)
1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed
2 cloves garlic
juice of one lime (or two – get lots of limey goodness in there!)
½ cup water
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup pistachios or other nuts of your choice
Pulse all ingredients – except pistachios – in a food processor until incorporated.
Add pistachios and pulse until mostly smooth (depends on what consistency you want).
Serve as a dip, spread, or sauce — or add additional water or oil to thin the sauce for use as a dressing or a marinade.
As we begin to warm up, an easy salad recipe is always needed. This one is pretty special. The link in the recipe below will lead to a recipe for homemade peri-peri sauce. It is a hot sauce originally from Portugal, then travelled to Africa. It is for sale at Cost Plus World Market, or you can substitute a sauce such as Sriracha, and add a little onion and lemon juice.
Peri-Peri Chicken Salad with Charred Corn
From simply-delicious-food.com. Serves 4.
4 skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise, giving you 8 thin chicken breasts)
2 tablespoons peri-peri sauce
juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
salt & pepper to taste
Combine the peri-peri sauce, olive oil, honey, lemon and seasoning and mix well. Pour over the chicken breasts and marinade for at least 10 minutes.
While the chicken is marinating, char the corn, brush the corn with olive oil and place in a hot griddle pan, rotating every few minutes until the corn is charred all over. Remove and set aside.
To cook the chicken, place the chicken on the hot griddle pan you used for the corn and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until the chicken is cooked to your preference.
Remove from the pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
To assemble the salad, place the salad leaves, sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, olives and feta cheese on a large platter. Slice the corn kernels off the cobs and add to the salad.
Slice the grilled chicken and place on the salad then dress with olive oil, lemon juice and season to taste.