Friday July 09, 2010
What makes everything taste better but makes some things smell worse?
No matter who has been a guest on Heirloom Meals Radio we are always being handed recipes that use garlic. Lucky for us, we happen to have garlic in all its forms around Boulderwood Farm and enjoy its delights in our meals at least once a day! We pulled up one garlic bulb today and it appears as though my crop needs at least two more weeks until they can be harvested.
Although garlic bulbs get most of the press, garlic scapes, which used to be considered compost - not an ingredient, are the staple of our homemade garlic scape pesto. You can also use them as a kind of exotic, sculptural floral arrangement!
To make garlic scape pesto you have to muster all of your concocting genius. As a start, put 15-20 garlic scapes (cut into pieces) into a Cuisinart and add olive oil until you have a desirable consistency. I like to add a handful or two of walnuts and grated parmesan cheese to taste. If you have fresh basil or some other herbs/nuts/spices etc. you want to experiment with - throw them in! Pesto is great on sandwiches, pasta, crackers, chips, cheese and a whole lot more so have no fear; whatever you come up with is bound to be good on something! Also, make lots of extras as this concoction freezes brilliantly.
One last thing about garlic...
If you would like to plant some garlic of your own stay away from supermarket bulbs since most of them have been genetically modified to the point of no return. Visit you local farm or farmstead and pick up the healthiest looking bulbs there and plant them in deep, rich, full sun soil around Columbus Day.
Friday July 02, 2010
As we meander into the 4th of July weekend I first wanted to reflect on what it is to be an American - and it just isn't all about the apple pie! We have the freedoms here in the USA to be and think freely; to embrace diversity and celebrate our independence through our diversity.
Ok, so what's cookin' in my kitchen this weekend? Right now I have some vegetable soup on the stove - a great way to use some of the greens I have amassed in my fridge from the CSA. And because it's been quite chilly it will be a welcome item on the menu!!
My thoughts on food right now are to keep things simple like a spice rubbed flank steak, leafy green salad, beet salad, broccoli and fresh blueberries.
Here's my favorite spice rub recipe:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix together, then rub into flank steak. Place flank steak in a gallon freezer bag with any extra rub and place in fridge for at least 8 hours for maximum flavor. Grill on stove top or outdoor grill - your choice! Slice it thinly against the grain and serve over salad or with potatoes (salad or roasted new) and any other farm fresh veggies.
Celebrate your independence!! I plan on doing the same
Friday June 25, 2010
On our way home from the CSA our bags were brimming with colorful, fresh produce including beets, zucchini, cherries, spinach and amazing salad greens. Using our best concocting skills, the idea is to include these foods in every meal you enjoy throughout the day and week. Creative simplicity is the name of the game here.
A favorite for the beets is to roast them with olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper and serve them over salad greens with goat cheese. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a light, summery dressing.
When thinking of zucchini, grandma knew it best. Sauteed with onions and whatever herbs are on hand, zucchini is the perfect side dish to the whatever you got going on the grill.
The perfect partner for the farm fresh morning eggs would undoubtedly be the spinach that scrambles in oh so nicely. If you happen to have a little provolone cheese- even better!
Last, but certainly not least, fresh, organic cherries are best left on their own in a little bowl on the counter. No fumbling through the fridge or digging through cabinets is necessary to find that perfect afternoon snack anymore.
Friday June 18, 2010
Ahhhhh...it's friday and thoughts of the weekend are beginning to seep into my psyche. Will there be enough hours to finally weed and plant my vegetable garden, get in some much needed exercise and plan a father's day celebration for Jim with his three kids. My Dad, however, will get all my love and well wishes delivered to him through the airwaves and, of course, the phone!! His gift from me was the trip to Shelburne Farms, VT for the cheesemaking extravaganza we attended last weekend.
So what will I be concocting? Well, it's garlic scape and strawberry season so it would be fitting have both items on the menu. As for the main course, I am thinking barbecue ribs....I'll be attempting something out of Jason Day and Aaron Chronister's book, BBQ Makes Everything Taste Better .
Here's a great recipe that I tore out of the New York Times a couple of years ago for
White Bean and Garlic Scape Dip:
3-4 garlic scapes (but I use twice as many!!)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup olive oil
ground pepper to taste
I like adding a few drops of tabasco!!
Add sliced scapes, salt, pepper and lemon juice in a food processor and process until finely chopped, then add cannelini beans and process to a rough puree. With motor running drizzle in the olive oil. (The recipe calls for some water but I leave it out. It suggests 2-3 Tbsp to make the mixture the consistency of a dip. I like more of a spread!)
And, for the strawberries - how about some ice cream. You'll need and ice cream maker. (I have a cuisinart and don't forget to put the ice cream bowl in the freezer for 12 hours or so.)
Strawberry Ice Cream:
1-2 pints of strawberries, stemmed and sliced
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar - I use organic
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine strawberries, 1/3 cup sugar and lemon juice and let "macerate
" for 2 hours. Mix milk and 2/3 cup sugar with a hand blender until dissolved and add with the vanilla and heavy cream and liquid from macerated strawberries into the ice cream freezer bowl and turn on ice cream maker and churn for 25 minutes. Then add strawberries for 5 more minutes, place in freezer-safe container and let set up in freezer for an hour or so or eat immediately for a soft-serve consistency.