Archive for October, 2010

My Sister’s Beet Salad

Look at that!  This is a beautiful beet salad that is unbelievably delicious.  This recipe comes from my sister who sometimes spends months trying to recreate dishes that she’s dined on in restaurants, and she got this one right!  Timing was perfect for me, because I still had some farm beets leftover in my veggie drawer and was wondering what to do with them.  I will make this recipe whenever I have beets from now on.  If you still have those end-of-season beets in your fridge, you are in luck.


My Sister’s Beet Salad

  • 4 medium-sized beets, washed but unpeeled
  • 1 tsp prepared mustard
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • a couple shakes of good balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp bleu cheese

Boil the unpeeled beets until they are tender when tested with a fork.  Allow them to cool on a plate.  Meanwhile, whisk together the mustard, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar into a syrup-consistency dressing.  Take a paper towel and rub off the beet skins; the skins should slip right off.  Cut up the beets into about 1/2-inch cubes.  Arrange the beets on a plate, drizzle the dressing on top, and sprinkle with the bleu cheese.  Makes one large or two small servings.

When I made this yesterday, I had no bleu cheese so I substituted it with feta cheese.  Now, my sister claims that this recipe’s perfection lies in using true bleu cheese, but I thought it was fantastic anyway with the feta.  Someday I’ll try it with the bleu.



Inside-Out Dumplings

Wow…where has this recipe been all my life??  I made a variation of the Inside-Out Pork Dumplings mentioned in my last post.  I actually adapted and merged this recipe with Alton Brown’s Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings recipe, which I’ve been using for years to make these the “old-fashioned,” time-consuming way.  It turned out exactly like I had hoped:  the taste was just like the dumplings I’ve made in the past, at a fraction of the effort.  It’s a fantastic way to use our bok choi, and has found a place in my current top-ten recipes.

CSA Share for 2010 Week Eighteen

Well, that’s all folks.  😦  No more pickups.  This week is dedicated to cooking and preserving all that is in my veggie drawer, knowing that these farm veggies are even more precious now.  In our share this week:

  • bok choi
  • cauliflower
  • garlic
  • greens (I chose Winterbor kale)
  • leeks
  • onions
  • potatoes
  • winter squash
  • pick your own cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, herbs, and hot peppers.

New this week is cauliflower and winter squash.  I really haven’t done much with cauliflower besides steaming and tossing with grated cheese, salt, and pepper.  Since this is the favored way to eat this in my house, I haven’t had much motivation to try anything else.   The winter squash is great to have since it will last awhile on my counter, giving me time to take care of the other veggies first.

Through a reader comment from my last post, I learned of a great recipe for our bok choi:  Inside-Out Pork Dumplings.  The strength of this recipe lies in drastically cutting dumpling-making time, but still retaining the flavor of those delicious dumplings.  I have not tried making this recipe yet, but certainly plan on it and will let you know how it turns out.

Although pickups are no more, I would still like to keep this blog going lightly over the winter, posting any good recipes that I happen to try (it’s my way of not having to say goodbye… 😉 ).  I would LOVE to hear about any recipes that you try out as well!

CSA Share for 2010 Week Seventeen

I picked up my share in the rain yesterday and got soaked, but I was determined to spend time in the pick-your-own patches.  I filled up on cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, parsley, hot peppers, and basil.  In our share this week:

  • beets
  • bell peppers
  • bok choi
  • eggplant
  • garlic
  • kale
  • onions
  • potatoes
  • pick-your-own cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, parsley, hot peppers, and basil

The pick-your-own basil was an extra-special treat, because I had wanted to fill up my basil-leaf freezer bag before the season ended so I could have some on hand to make my Simple Marinara Sauce (now that the fresh tomatoes are gone, you can use canned tomatoes instead of fresh in this recipe).  And, through a member’s comment from one of my last posts, I now know what I’m going to do with all my tomatillos this weekend:  make Green Chile Enchiladas.   These look GOOD.  Since I didn’t think the cherry tomatoes were going to last that long on my counter, I just ground up and froze my batch because (I can’t help myself) I NEED to make more of that eggplant parmesan (see my previous posts) this weekend; this will also take care of the eggplant we received in our shares.

Keep in mind that you can oven-bake our potatoes similarly to the summer squash:  chop potatoes into bite-sized pieces and toss them in olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and then spread on a baking pan and baked at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes or so.  I did this last night and they really turned out delicious.  It’s a fast and easy way to prepare those potatoes.  No need to peel these since the skin is so very thin; just scrub well.

Other than the chile recipe, I have no new recipes to try, so if you have anything interesting that you are going to cook this weekend, do let me know!

CSA Share, Week Sixteen, Day Six

Last night for dinner, I used one of our sweet potatoes in this Chicken and Vegetable Coconut Curry dish.  It was terrific, and made use of four of the veggies from last week’s share:  onions, garlic, red (or green) peppers, and sweet potato.  What’s great about this dish is you can substitute any kind of veggie or meat for what is called for, and she suggests that you can even replace the meat with chickpeas for a vegetarian version.  However, the only way I strayed from the recipe last night was topping it with plain yogurt.  One thing I would do differently next time is to add the more delicate veggies, such as the frozen peas and green beans, more towards the end of the cooking time.  This is a very good cooler-weather recipe, and the coconut milk base makes this something a little out-of-the-ordinary (at least for us).

The other dish that I brought to our farm party, besides the chocolate cake I talked about in my last post, was Tomatillo Salsa Verde (with bean and cheese quesadillas on the side).  This was the first time I made salsa out of our farm tomatillos (and was inspired by a member’s comment regarding her recipe plans).   I was surprised by how very easy it was to make.  I chose the roasting method over the boiling method for tomatillo preparation.  I also used our farm parsley over cilantro (I am NOT a cilantro fan).

Regarding our kale from last week, I changed my mind and made Pureed Kale again (see my previous post) instead of the Pasta with Lentils and Kale.  I tell you, that is one goooood way to eat kale.  I think it is best right after it’s made, when still warm.  I wolfed it down by scooping it up with crackers.  Again, I added some cream cheese to the recipe, making it turn out somewhat like creamed spinach.

Six-Minute Chocolate Cake

We had BIG fun at the farm party last night!  The food there was out-of-this-world delicious, as usual.  One thing I brought to the party was a plate of chocolate cake, using this Six-Minute Chocolate Cake recipe from The Moosewood Collective.  (You can also read my write-up on it here from an old, abandoned blog of mine.)  I’ve been making this for years, and it’s the easiest and most quickly-prepared “from scratch” cake ever.  I always skip the glaze and just drizzle with chocolate sauce and dust with powdered sugar.  Enjoy!