This week I stopped by Healthway Farms for some small fresh carrots (and some larger ones that I think may have come from the root cellar), purple scallions (I can’t leave a purple vegetable on the table), cilantro, blueberries and – to the delight of my 4-year-old – a box of apricots. I’m adding that to an abundance of greens, beets, radishes, cabbage and herbs that were in my CSA box from Hemlock Hill Farm.
I picked up some honey from Dave the Honey Man – a big staple I use in all kinds of dressings and marinades. Then it was on to Panzarella for some fresh mozzarella, and this week they were carrying a special treat – fresh ricotta. If you have never had this, it is as different from the store stuff as fresh mozzarella. I have a couple of cooking ideas for it this week but it is also wonderful as breakfast or a light dessert with some fruit and a drizzle of honey.
Finally I was back to the fish market for some more blackfish (actually a tasty white fish) that I pan-fried on Saturday night and served with garlic herb butter and a giant salad.
I’ve been putting my delicate-tasting chives to good use in the mornings, snipping them into scrambled eggs with goat cheese.
For a potluck dinner with friends I made a “rainbow slaw” with some beautiful purple and gold beets, green cabbage and orange carrots. My daughter really liked the idea of eating something rainbow colored.
As I did last week, I wilted my chard and kale and put it in the freezer so I wouldn’t have to worry about it going bad before I could cook it. Since this week looks like it will be a little cooler than last week, I think I’ll be able to use the oven a bit more. On Monday I’m planning to make a pizza with whole wheat olive oil crust and garlic, wilted swiss chard, fresh mozzarella and ricotta and sliced tomatoes on top. For the crust I use the recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, a bread book that has changed my life. Once you’ve done it a few times you really can make bread and pizza dough with very little effort – I highly recommend it. Here’s a link to their pizza dough recipe. You can use white or whole wheat flour, or a combination - the wheat flour makes the crust more dense and chewy. Of course there are a million things you can put on pizza crust – it’s a great way to use some of your fresh veggies for the week.
I’ll be using my purple scallions, cilantro and some older garlic scapes in black beans and rice for an easy meal and yummy leftovers.
If it’s not too hot I’m also planning on making some stuffed baked potatoes this week, to use up some of my greens, chives and ricotta cheese. The ricotta gives the mashed potatoes a fluffy texture.
Here are a few recipes – enjoy!
Parsley-chive Garlic-herb butter
– 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
– 1 small or ½ regular garlic clove, finely chopped and sprinkled with salt
– 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
– 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
– zest from one lemon
Mix all the ingredients together with your hands, then roll the butter into a log and refrigerate. You can cut off small disks to serve on top of fish, steak or chicken. You can also freeze it. There are endless variations using any fresh herbs you have – another favorite of mine with fish is garlic, cilantro and lime zest. Great with guacamole and beer!
– 5-6 medium red or golden beets, shredded
– 2 large or 3-4 medium carrots, shredded
– 1 small or ½ large head green cabbage
– ½ cup white or red vinegar
– ¼ cup Dijon mustard
– 2 tbs honey
– 1 cup olive oil
Whisk all ingredients except olive oil together, then slowly add olive oil while whisking until emulsified. Or use an immersion blender, which is what I do.
Stir all ingredients together with dressing and let sit at least an hour before serving.
Stuffed baked potatoes
– 8 medium-large potatoes – any variety
– 2 bunches wilted chopped greens such as spinach, kale or swiss chard
– 1 small garlic clove chopped
– ½ tsp salt
– 1 - 2 cups ricotta cheese
– ½ cup milk
– 1 cup shredded cheddar or parmesan
– 4 slices bacon or pancetta, chopped small (optional)
– small bunch of chives chopped fine
Bake the potatoes until soft, then let them cool slightly. Meanwhile, brown the bacon until crisp. When potatoes are cool enough, scoop out the insides and mash them together with ricotta, garlic, milk and salt. Pile insides back into potato skins placed on a rimmed baking sheet. Top with bacon and cheddar and bake around 20 minutes at 350 degrees. When they come out of the oven, sprinkle chives on top.