Farm to Table Friday: Eggplant, Tomato, Zucchini, Potato

From Bailey
Chicken Eggplant Sorrentino

For many years I worked at an Italian restaurant, and one of my favorite dishes was Chicken Sorrentino, This delicious dish comes to mind anytime I have an eggplant in the house. It’s very easy to make and very tasty!

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Ingredients
These amounts are for four chicken breasts, feel free to increase or decrease as needed

  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 medium Eggplant
  • 8 slices of Prosciutto
  • 1 jar of Spaghetti Sauce (I like to use homemade, but pre-made works in  a bind)
  • 1 cup fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 cups Panko or other Breadcrumbs
  • Salt, Pepper, and Italian Seasoning

Start by slicing the eggplant longways into long slices. You’ll want them less then 1/2 inch thick, you’ll need one slice for each of the chicken breasts.  Put the eggs in a bowl and whip them up, put the breadcrumbs with a couple of dashes of the salt, pepper and Italian spices on a plate and mix it up. Dip each slice of eggplant in the egg then coat generously with the breadcrumbs. Put each breaded eggplant slice on a non-stick cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven. Bake them about 10 minutes, then flip and bake about 10 minutes more. The breadcrumbs should brown.

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While the eggplant is baking dice up 1/2 green pepper and a small onion as well as about 5 cloves of garlic. Coat the bottom of a large deep pan with olive oil and heat it up, add the garlic then the peppers and onions and saute. Add most of the sauce and get it all simmering. Then add the chicken breasts and put a lid on the pan to cook the chicken through. After the tops of the chicken breasts appear white, flip them and let them cook to 165 degrees internal temperature.

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When the eggplant is done, remove it from the oven. When the chicken is done put two pieces of prosciutto on top of each breast. Then layer a slice of eggplant on top of that. Then put some of the mozzarella cheese on top and finally cover it with a bit of the sauce. Put the lid back on the pan and cook until the cheese melts. When the cheese melts they are ready to serve and enjoy!

From Megan
Cheesy Veggie Bake

We got quite a few different kinds of veggies this week, so I was looking for a good way to incorporate as many as I could. Then I remembered that I had seen this recipe on Pinterest, and decided I had to try it! It was super easy to make, and very yummy!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Yellow Onion
  • 1 tbsp minced Garlic
  • 1 medium Zucchini $0.71
  • 1 medium Yellow Squash $0.85
  • 1 medium Potato $0.91
  • 1 medium Tomato $1.65
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Cheese (I used a mix of mozzarella and parmesan)

Step One: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Dice the onion and set aside. Thinly slice the other veggies.

Sliced Veggies

Step Two: Sauté the onion and minced garlic in olive oil until softened (about five minutes).

Step Three: Spray the inside of an 8×8 square baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread the softened onion and garlic in the bottom of the dish. Place the thinly sliced vegetables in the baking dish vertically, in an alternating pattern. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and oregano.

Veggies in Pan Stacked Veggies

Step Three: Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, top with cheese and bake for another 15 minutes.

Veggies with Cheese Cheesey Veggie Bake

Gluten Free Angel Food Cake Recipe

Completed Cake

Last week we got an email from our local farm offering all CSA members the opportunity to do some berry picking and get some free fruit. So we headed out to the blueberry bushes, blackberry bushes and strawberry patch. Returning home with about five pounds of assorted berries I was left to contemplate, “Now what do I do with all of this?” The first answer to come to mind was a berry shortcake. Growing up though, we never really ate true shortcake. My mom always made pound cake and served it with the strawberries and whipped cream. In my efforts to cut some calories and fat, I decided to attempt an Angel Food cake, which I had never made before. I compared a few recipes and ended up with what follows. I will admit mine probably was a little underbaked, but I’ll know better for next time. Being that the cake uses so little flour, the gluten free aspect was almost unintelligible.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Gluten Free Flour Blend

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 cups of egg whites (about 10-11 large eggs)

3/4 cup superfine sugar (If you don’t have superfine sugar put your regular sugar in a food processor, it’s almost as good as superfine)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

and additional 3/4 + 2 tablespoons superfine sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Place the rack in the lowest possible position.

2. In a bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and one part of the sugar.

3. Separate the eggs. Be very very careful to not have any yolks get into your whites. Having yolk in the mixture can prevent the egg whites from setting correctly and ruin the whole process. When I separate eggs, I don’t shift the whites back and forth in the shell. I wash my hands really well, then break the egg over my hand. I let the white run through my fingers into a bowl and keep the yolk in my hand. It’s the best way I’ve found to separate eggs. One tip: cold eggs will separate more easily. You will need about 10 – 11 eggs to get all the whites you need. I kept all my yolks and thought about making a custard or something, but I didn’t have time. It felt bad to throw them out though. It would have been a good excuse to make mayo….

cake ingredients dry ingredients separated egg

4. Put the egg whites in a very clean and dry mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the salt and the cream of tartar and whip until it gets foamy. When it’s foamy add the vanilla and almond extract, continue to blend until the eggs have thickened and gotten larger.

5. At this point add the 3/4 + 2 Tablespoons of sugar into the egg whites, add it 1/4 cup at a time slowly.  When the egg whites form soft peaks, remove them from the blender.

6. Slowly fold in the flour mixture a little bit at a time mixing completely.

egg whites in blender egg white mixture cake in the oven

7. Gently spoon the batter into the angel food cake pan. I made my first cake in a bundt pan, and it just didn’t’ turn out as good as I wanted. I made a second one in a real AF cake pan and it was pretty awesome.

8. Tap the pan on the counter to get out any bubbles, then bake it on the lowest oven rack for 45 minutes. Check it after 35, if you press your finger in and it bounces back, it’s done.

9. Here’s the weird part…when you take the pan out of the oven, place it upside down over the neck of a heatproof bottle and leave it there about two hours to cool.

10. To remove the cake from the pan run a rubber scraper around the side and middle and gently tap.

Cake on a bottle In the Pan Out of the Pan

11. Serve how you choose, I like it with whipped cream and berries!

This cake is light and delicious – way less calories and fat than most cakes!

Farm to Table: Cantaloupe, Tomatoes, Basil

Complete Plate

Whenever I see cantaloupe I think of my favorite appetizer: prosciutto and melon! That’s so simple to make though, so I thought about making it into a salad with a little more to it. It turned out great!

Ingredients:

To make the salad:

10 oz. arugula (I used 1/2 arugula and 1/2 arugula blend to add variety)

1 medium cantaloupe

8 – 10 slices of prosciutto

about a cup of slivered almonds
To make the dressing:

1/4 cup champagne vinegar (if you can’t find champagne, use white wine)

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs (use what you have, I had sage, rosemary and mint)

1. Put the slivered almonds into a pan on the stove and toast them. Toss them frequently to get them to brown on each side. When they are done set them to the side and use the same pan to crisp up some prosciutto. Put a little olive oil in the pan, then add about 1/2 of the prosciutto that has been diced up. Saute it in the pan until it gets crispy. This adds a variety of textures to the salad.

 toasting almonds toasted almonds cooked prosciutto   diced prosciutto

2. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine all the ingredients for the dressing except the oil. Mix them together with a small whisk. slowly whisk in the oil to get the mixture to emulsify. Whisk very quickly. Set the dressing aside as you prepare the salad.

 dressing ingredients mixed dressingDiced Cantaloupe

3. Take the cantaloupe and cut it into small-medium size pieces. Use a melon baller if you have one.

4. In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuces, (now cooled) almonds, the diced cold prosciutto, the diced crispy prosciutto and the melon. Toss the dressing on the salad and serve! It’s a great salty, sweet combination.

 Untossed Salads Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Salad

For the Main Course we had an assortment of Gluten Free pizzas. We started with a crust from Bob’s Red Mill.

Pizza # 1 – Margherita

To start we brushed the crust with olive oil. We topped it with fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes and basil.  It’s a classic for a reason!

Crusts Uncooked Margherita Pizza Margherita Pizza

Pizza #2 – Grilled Veggie and Prosciutto Pizza

To begin we took potatoes, yellow squash, and carrots, sliced them and put them on the grill. Once they were grilled on both sides we brushed the crust with olive oil then laid a single layer of prosciutto on the crust. We then layer the veggies in a rotation on top of the crust. We tossed a few tomatoes on top and some shredded Parmesan cheese then baked both crusts in the oven. They came out lovely and delicious!

grilling veggies Uncooked Veggie Pizza Veggie Pizza

Farm to Table Friday: Tomatoes, Corn, Peppers

Tacos and CornAs soon as we saw corn, tomatoes, and green peppers on our CSA list, we were inspired to head south of the border for this week’s Farm to Table dinner! This meal ended up being perfect to enjoy on a hot summer day. On the menu this week:

Carnitas Tacos
Fire Roasted Salsa
Sauteed Corn & Pepper Salad

From Bailey
Carnitas Tacos & Fire Roasted Salsa

To start we made Carnitas Tacos. This slow cooked pork is one my favorite items to order at a Mexican restaurant. Instead of going slow and making this on a smoker, I have a great recipe to make carnitas in a crock-pot.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 3-4 Bay Leaves
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 lb. boneless Pork Shoulder

This is very easy to assemble. Combine all the dried spices, pat them all over the pork shoulder. Put the shoulder in your crock pot, cover it with the chicken broth and drop in the bay leaves. I usually do this at night, then stick it in the fridge. Before I leave for work the next morning I pop it onto low and when I get home in the evening the meat is ready to go. I take it out of the crock pot and shred the meat with tongs or a fork.

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Fire Roasted Salsa

  • About 2 lbs. assorted Tomatoes (preferably small or medium)
  • About 1 lb. assorted Peppers (I use the small sweet peppers)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onion
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro
  • 3 cloves Garlic, diced or minced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Special Materials: A food processor or blender

Step One: Clean the peppers and tomatoes, then put them on a preheated grill. Turn them every few minutes to get a good char on each side.

Tomatoes and Peppers Veggies on the Grill Roasted Veggies

Step Two:  When the peppers and tomatoes are roasted, put them in a food processor bowl, You will easily be able to pull apart the peppers to remove the stems and seeds. Add the chopped onion, juice of the lime, the cilantro, garlic, and as much jalapeno as you want to control the spice level. Fire up the food processor and work the ingredients until you get a salsa consistency.

Salsa on the Stove

Step Three:  Move the salsa from the food processor to a pot and heat it on the stove to meld the flavors, serve warm.

**If you don’t have a food processor you can use a blender or just chop everything by hand. You will end up with a chunkier salsa, but it will still taste delicious!

We used gluten free, corn soft-shell  tacos for the Carnitas Tacos, and topped out tacos with the Fire Roasted Salsa, avocado slices, cilantro, and lime juice. Delicious!!

From Megan
Sautéed Corn and Pepper Salad

Since we had already made corn on the cob, I wanted to try something new that could also incorporate the green pepper. I came up with this Mexican-inspired sautéed corn and pepper salad. It’s easy to make and has a great flavor. I liked it so much, I ended up making it again to bring to a cookout later in the week!

Corn IngredientsSautéed Corn & Pepper Salad

  • 6 ears of Corn
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ cup of fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh Lime Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Step One: Using a sharp knife, remove the corn from the cob. I found it easiest to hold the ear of corn in a large bowl while I cut it, so the kernels did not fly everywhere.

Step Two: Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Once heated, add the corn, green pepper, and red onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until crisp tender. Add a small pinch of red pepper flakes, stir once, and remove from heat.

Saute Corn

Step Three: Pour the corn, pepper, and onion into a bowl. Add the cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Enjoy!

Mixing Corn

Baked Oatmeal Recipe

In my quest to be a Gluten Free I ran across some problems at breakfast. If I go somewhere and sit down I’m okay, eggs and potatoes will do, but what about my jaunt into the local coffee shop? No muffins, bagels, croissants or biscotti for me.

Recently I went to my local coffee shop St. Thomas Roasters and they had Baked Oatmeal. I asked about the recipe and it was gluten free, yay! Their oatmeal was very simple, just some brown sugar. As I sat there I couldn’t help thinking of all the better things I could put into my own baked oatmeal… so I did!  I made my first attempt with peaches, and it was good but it needed a bit of tweaking. Here is the recipe I used for my second (and very successful attempt).

Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries and Bananas

Baked Oatmeal IngredientsDry Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • a dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

Liquid Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk ( I used Organic Fat Free)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup (or maple syrup). If you don’t have agave, add more brown sugar.
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled

The Add-Ins
You can use whatever fresh fruits, dried fruits, or nuts that you like. Here is what I used:

  • 2 fresh Bananas, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh Blueberries
  • Grated peel of one small Lemon
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon wedge.

Preheat your oven to 375. Butter an 8×8 pan and set it aside.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Dry Ingredients

Combine all the liquid ingredients, leaving 1/2 the butter in the dish. Mix them with a whisk and set the bowl aside.

Wet Ingredients

Mix your Add-Ins together in a small bowl.

Diced Bananas and Blueberries

Next, add the fruit mixture to the dry ingredients and combine. Then move them into the buttered baking dish.

Mixed Fruit and Oats 2

Pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture. Use your spoon or scraper to gently move the liquid around, making sure all the oats are covered.

Ready to Bake

Next I took 1/3 cup of crushed almonds and spread them over the top, then drizzled the rest of the melted butter over the top.

Put in the oven and bake 35-45 minutes. Let it cool a bit and enjoy!

Baked Close Up - Copy

I usually cut mine into 9 pieces. Each piece will have around 200 calories depending on what you add and how much sugar you use. In the fridge it will keep about a week, I like to warm my piece in the microwave and drizzle a little milk on it. If you make your own version, please let us know what delicious combos you’ve tried!

~ Bailey

Farm to Table Friday: Beets, Spring Onions, Swiss Chard

This week’s Farm to Table Friday Dinner was inspired to be a Belgian-style Feast! We were so excited to eat this meal, that we forgot to take a good picture of the completed recipes together (oops!), so enjoy photos of the individual completed dishes with their respective recipes. Warning – we made a LOT of food (we had to call in reinforcements to help us eat it all!), so it’s a lengthy – but delicious – post. Here’s what was on the menu:

Mussels with Beer, Shallots, and Garlic
Mussels in Bacon, Apple, and Potato Cream Sauce
Pasta in Cream Sauce with Sauteed Swiss Chard Ribs
Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans

Full Dinner

From Bailey:
Mussels Two Ways

As soon as we settled on a goat cheese beet side salad, I was drawn right to mussels! Yum! Okay, well..I’ve never made mussels. I’ve eaten many but never attempted them on my own. I will say it was a successful adventure. First of all, mussels are not that expensive. I got 2 pounds for six dollars at our local Wegmans. I bought three bags for 6 people and started to plan.

For both recipes I started by cleaning off the mussels. I put them in a sink of cold water and cleaned off the shells. If any were open, I tapped the shells on the counter. If they closed, then they were still alive and okay to eat. If not, they needed thrown away. I had to throw away only about 6 out of the six pounds. Next I put them in the fridge and got ready to prepare the sauces.

Mussels with Beer, Shallot and Garlic
  • 3 lbs Mussels
  • 1 bottle Palm or other Amber Beer
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/4 cup mined garlic
  • 1/4 cup diced shallots
  • 1/4 cup chopped spring onion

Diced Shallots   Chopped Spring Onion   Minced Garlic

This one was traditional but very easy.  I started with a 1/2 stick of butter in the pan. I got the pan hot then added minced garlic and diced shallots. I sauteed these in the pan and got everything browning. When the pan was ready, I deglazed the pan with a bottle of Palm beer. (Go Belgium!) I let the beer get warmed up, then added about 1/4 cup of diced spring onion. Next I added about half of the mussels. I put a lid on the pan and waited. Every few minutes I’d hold the lid down and toss the mussels around in the liquid, mixing them up. When the shells were all opened, in to a bowl went the mussels, ready to eat!

Deglazed Palm Pan Garlic Beer Mussels

Mussel in Bacon, Apple & Potato Cream Sauce
  • 3 lbs Mussels
  • 3/4 lb diced bacon
  • 1/4 cup diced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup spring onions
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1.5  pounds diced fingerling potatoes
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bottle Hoegaarden or similar beer
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • dash of salt and pepper

  Diced Bacon in a pan  Diced Potatoes  Chopped Apple

This one was slightly more complicated, but not too bad. I started, instead of using a big saute pan, I used a large pot. I started out with about 3/4 lb of diced bacon. I cooked this in the bottom of the pan until the bacon started to get crispy. Next I added 1/4 cup of shallots, and about a tablespoon of minced garlic along with about 1/4 cup of the spring onions and two diced granny smith apples and about 1.5 pounds of diced fingerling potatoes and a dash of salt and pepper. After this all cooked down, I deglazed the pan with about 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, a pint of heavy whipping cream,  and a bottle of Hoegaarden beer. Next  I let the liquids heat up then when the potatoes seemed mostly cooked with a fork test, I added the mussels. I put the lid on the pot and let them cook until the mussels were done.

Pan of potatoes, bacon, etc Completed creamy mussels

From Megan:
Swiss Chard Ribs in Cream Sauce

Creative CookingI had never made anything using Swiss Chard Ribs before, but when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to give it a go! Swiss Chard leaves can also be eaten, but for this dish, I used the vibrantly colored, mild tasting ribs. We were cooking so many things simultaneously for this dinner that we ran out of burners and had to get a little creative…


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of chopped Swiss Chard Ribs
  • ¼ cup of Butter
  • 1 diced Shallot
  • ½ cup of chopped Spring Onions
  • 1 pint of Heavy Cream
  • 1 lb. of Pasta (we used this gluten free option)
  • Salt and pepper

Chopped Swiss Chard RibsStep One: Separate the ribs from the greens, and cut the ribs into 1/2-inch pieces.

Step Two: Blanch the ribs by boiling them in lightly salted water for 3 minutes, then draining them and transferring them immediately into ice water until cooled. Once cooled, drain again and set aside.

Swiss Chard in ButterStep Three:  Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the blanched ribs, diced shallot, and chopped spring onions. Simmer for 4 minutes.

Step Four: Add heavy cream and cook, stirring frequently, until cream reduces by two-thirds. While the cream is reducing, cook pasta, drain, and transfer to a serving dish.


Step Five:
Once the cream has finished reducing, season to taste with salt and pepper, remove from heat, and toss with the pasta. Serve immediately.

Pasta with Cream Sauce Pasta with Swiss Chard Cream Sauce

Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

I’m not a big fan of beets. At all. In fact, most of my beet-cooking adventures have ended horribly, so I was a little apprehensive when I found out that beets would be on our menu this week. When we saw this recipe, though, it sounded too tempting to pass up!

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups mixed Baby Greens
  • 4 small Beets
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 4 oz of Goat Cheese
  • Pecans

Step One: Wisk together the Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, and Honey to make a dressing, and set aside.

Step Two: Wash, trim, and peel the beets, then cook until tender. Beets can be boiled, baked, or microwaved… we opted to chop them into cubes and microwave them since we were short on time. Lesson learned: make sure you use a well fitting lid in the microwave. If you don’t, your microwave will look like something exploded in it.

   Beet Ready to Chop    Diced Beets   Beets in a Sink   Microwave Beets

Step Three: Add the cubed, cooked beets to the salad greens. Add the honey balsamic dressing and toss to coat.

We put the goat cheese and pecans in separate serving bowls and let everyone add their own to taste. The combination of the honey balsamic dressing with the creamy goat cheese really made this salad pop. Those flavors took center stage, while the beets added subtlety and depth to the overall flavor and texture.

Farm to Table Friday: Kohlrabi, Peas, and Garlic Scapes

Welcome to our first farm to table dinner post! This year, the lovely ladies of Common Plate (that’s us!) decided to split a CSA (Community Sustained Agriculture) share from  Strites Orchard in Harrisburg, PA. We plan to use items from the CSA each week to make an original Farm to Table dinner.  Below are the recipes we used to create our first installment of our new weekly series: Farm to Table Friday!

Farm to Table DinnerPenne with Garlic Scape Pesto and Peas
Sauteed Kohlrabi
Grilled London Broil*

*The London Broil has nothing to do with the CSA, but we marinated it and grilled it to medium rare. It was delicious!

From Bailey:
Penne with Garlic Scape Pesto and Peas

Our CSA box included some interesting items this week. We got got fresh shelled peas and garlic scapes. I had never even heard of a garlic scape, but through my research about it I learned that it’s best used to make pesto or hummus. I decided to go with pesto.

Pesto StuffPesto Ingredients
Please note that all amounts are estimated.  You may need to adjust as you go

  • About 6 garlic scapes
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmiaggiano reggiano cheese
  • 1/3 cup roasted unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

When I made this pesto I first tried to do it in the blender which did not work. I currently only own a 2 cup food processor, so I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it all fit, but I found it was better to work in the processor in small batches than the blender blunder.

Peas in ShellThe first thing we did was shell all the peas, then steam them until they were done. Then we put them to the side.

To make the pesto don’t use a blender like I started out, just go right to the food processor.

Start with the almonds and get them well ground, add in the salt, pepper and basil. Chop a few times, then add in the garlic scapes. To use the scapes chop them up into smaller pieces before adding them in.

Garlic Scapes     Diced Scapes

Next, after grinding the scapes a few times, add in the olive oil, then finally the Parmesan cheese. It’s okay if the mixture is kind of thick, because when the pesto is heated it will cover the pasta well.

Pesto in Food Processor 1 Pesto in Processor 2

To make the final pasta, start with the pasta of your choice, long or short. I chose Trader Joe’s  Gluten Free Corn Pasta. Boil the pasta according to the directions, drain, then set aside. Start by putting some olive oil or butter in a large saute pan. Add the peas, then add the pasta and the pesto. Turn gently until all pasta is covered, and voila! There you go, a delicious side dish! Cover it with grilled chicken or sauteed shrimp for a great entree.

Peas in a Pan IMG_1195 Pesto Pasta

From Megan:
Sautéed Kohlrabi

Raw KohlrabiI had never seen, eaten, or prepared kohlrabi before… heck, I’m not even sure if I had ever even heard of it before it showed up on our CSA preview list! But part of the fun of belonging to a CSA is getting to try new things, so I determined to make a kohlrabi side dish. How hard could it be, right?

Once it arrived, however, I realized that I REALLY had no idea what I was doing. The thing looked like an alien. Several Google searches and helpful Youtube videos later, I decided to tackle sautéed kohlrabi. Thankfully, it’s surprisingly easy to prepare once you realize that it is not, in fact, an alien life form.

Cutting KohlrabiStep One: Remove any leaves from the bulb (ours came pre-removed). From what I’ve learned, the leaves can also be prepared, but the bulb seems to be the most popular part.

Step Two: Use a knife or vegetable peeler to remove the tough, pale green skin on the bulb. Then cut the bulb into thin, matchstick-like spears.

Step Three: Boil the kohlrabi in salted water until softened (about 5-10 minutes), then drain, pat dry, and set aside.

Step Four: Melt enough butter to cover the bottom of a frying pan. Add some minced shallots, and heat until fragrant.

Saute KohlrabiStep Five: Add the kohlrabi to the frying pan, and sauté until it begins to turn golden. Sprinkle a pinch nutmeg on top, and toss to combine.

Kohlrabi has a texture similar to a potato, and the taste is what you might expect if a broccoli and a parsnip had a (very tasty) lovechild. The mildness of the kohlrabi plays well with the butter, and the nutmeg gives it just enough of a kick to pull out some the earthiness of the flavor. New favorite vegetable? I think so!

~ ~ ~

We hope you enjoyed the first installment of Farm to Table Friday!
Happy Cooking!

Crabby Potato Salad Recipe

One of my favorite summer salads is Crab Potato salad.  I like any excuse to eat crab, and combining it with these amazing fresh summer ingredients makes the best summer side dish.  Don’t feel committed to any of the portions in this salad, feel free to add more of anything or less. You could add onions, cabbage,  mash the potatoes, or do many other tweaks to make this recipe your own. This is my version:

Crabby Potato Salad:

  • 2 lbs Red Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup cooked Corn-on-the-Cob
  • 1/2 cup diced Celery
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise ( I always make my own. see: The Truth about Mayonnaise)
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 cup crabmeat (Canned works fine, I usually buy some fin and some lump just to mix up the textures)

First boil, cool, then cube the potatoes.

Boiling Potatoes   Boiled Potatos

Next, dice the celery and cut the corn off the cob. Make sure to cook the corn first and let it cool completely.

Chopped CeleryCutting Corn Cut Corn

Add together the potatoes, corn, celery, crab, and lemon juice and toss around.

Crab Potato Salad

Mix the Old Bay seasoning into the mayo, then add to the potatoes. This way you avoid clumps of seasoning getting stuck to the veggies!

Old Bay Mayo

Combine all the ingredients and keep chilled until service. Since I use homemade mayo, I try to always keep this inside if possible; if not, keep a lid on it lightly and put it in a bowl of ice to keep chilled.

Crabby Potato Salad

This makes a delicious side dish for any summer picnic – Enjoy!
~ Bailey

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix

Being plagued with stomach issues since I was a teenager, I am always searching for ways to keep my erratic digestive system in check. I was first diagnosed with Acid Reflux as a teenager, but I wasn’t able to control my symptoms. I tried changes in diet and medication but it was to no avail. In college I realized that it seemed to be related to stress. Every mid-terms and finals week I was stricken down by intense shooting acid in my esophagus. By my twenties the pain seemed to centralize right in the middle of my chest. I’d wake up feeling like I was being stabbed with a hot knife right between my ribs. After a gall bladder ultrasound and a scope, results were inconclusive. My doctor changed the diagnosis to a form of IBS and gave me the sage prescription “Eat healthy, exercise, and hope for the best.”

Recently I was advised to attempt a gluten-free diet, many people with stomach maladies have reported success from this. I won’t say I’m able to go truly GF, but I am certainly trying. I’d call myself, Gluten-limited or Gluten-reduced. After only a week I’ve already seen a difference.

Part of the fun of this new diet is trying out new baking and cooking techniques. Not being willing to give up my favorite food, pizza, I set out to find a GF crust recipe I could make. The first recipe I found required buying GF flour, dry milk, and Xantham Gum. I was set to do it, but at my local grocer the Xantham Gum was 11.00 for a package, and I wasn’t quite ready to be that committed yet. However, right beside those ingredients I saw the pre-packaged pizza dough mix.

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The directions were very easy to follow, and the dough did exactly what it was supposed to. I spread it in the pan and baked it. The package makes two pizzas.

The first we topped with pizza sauce, ricotta and shredded cheeses, mushrooms and turkey pepperoni.

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The pizza itself tasted good, but the crust was very bland. It also did not have the crunch of a normal crust, but that also may be from being baked at home instead of in a real pizza oven. I felt like the crust needed salt, my husband said sugar,and we both agreed some herbs would have helped. We are going to do a little doctoring before we prep the second pizza.

Take Two! For the second pizza we went a little more creative and had slightly better results. This time the crust sat, wrapped in plastic wrap, for two days before we baked it. Perhaps it was the time it had to cool and maybe even get a little stale, but it was a bit crunchier this time. This also may have been from pressing the dough a little thinner. Thinner is better, I found. This round we did a fajita pizza.

I brushed the crust with olive oil and sea salt.

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Then I topped it with salsa.

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And covered it with sauteed chicken, chiles, onions, and peppers as well as cheddar jack cheese and some queso fresco. Finally we topped each slice with some mango salsa, sour cream and avocado. The crust held up well to to the heavy toppings and tasted better. I wouldn’t say if gluten was not a concern that I’d bother, but if you, like me, are trying to cut gluten out of your diet, this is the way to go.

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Maybe next time I’ll try it from scratch. If I do, you’ll be the first to know!

Recipe: Warm Potato Salad with Bacon-Parsley Vinaigrette

For many years I avoided all potato salads. An aversion to excessive mayonnaise has kept me from almost all salads of the potato/macaroni picnic varieties. However, I have been introduced to vinegar based potato salads over the past few years and I have fallen in love. For dinner last weekend Megan was making a root beer pork recipe. To complement the sweetness of the pork we wanted something with a good acid and saltiness. Here is what we invented:

Warm Potato Salad with Bacon-Parsley Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

(Please note there are no quantities listed in the recipe, just get what you need for your guests.)

Small Red Potatoes

Bacon (the higher quality and thicker cut the better) I got mine from a local charcuterie called Rooster Street Provisions. We love them!

Curley Parsley

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

1. Start by slicing or dicing the red potatoes. Cutting them into small wedges would help the salad hold up a little better. I sliced mine so they would bake faster. After cutting the potatoes put them in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes to coat them.
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2. Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet and put into a 350 degree oven. Roast the potatoes until they are done. If you’re not sure when they are done, just poke one with a fork or take a bite.
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3. When the potatoes seem to be close, start the dressing. First dice up the bacon, then chop the parsley. Get a medium-large saute pan. Drizzle some olive oil into the saute pan and put it on medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the bacon and saute. When the bacon starts to crisp and there is a bit of dark residue on the bottom of the pan add the balsamic vinegar. Saute a for a few minutes. Add the parsley right before you remove the pan from the heat.
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4. Remove the potatoes from the oven. Put them into a heat-safe bowl. Add the dressing to the bowl and toss. You may want to add more salt, pepper, oil, or vinegar to taste.
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This salad is a delicious side at any picnic, feel free to adjust to your own tastes. Try different ingredients, we’d love to hear how you adapted this delicious salad!

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