What can I say? The white bean craze continues! This meal hits all those hearty seasonal spots, with its delicious, vegetarian goodness. Mushroom and White Bean Stuffed Squash By Holly Rodricks Makes 4 servings. Ingredients: 2 Acorn Squash, halved and seeded (Other, similarly-sized squash such as Carnival or Sweet Dumpling can be substituted.) Olive Oil 1-2 tbsp. Salted Butter 1/4 cup Red Onion, diced 1 clove Garlic, finely minced 1/2 lb. Baby Bella Mushrooms 1 cup White Beans, rinsed and drained 1 tsp. Whole Grain Mustard 1/8 tsp. White Pepper 1/2 Parmesan Cheese, grated Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: Preheat oven to 375º. Lightly coat interior and exterior of all 4 Squash halves in olive oil. Sprinkle all over with Salt and Pepper. Set aside. In a frying pan, over medium heat, melt Butter. Add Onions and cook gently until partially translucent. Add Garlic and sauté until aromatic, 1-2 minutes. Add Mushrooms, White Beans, Mustard, White Pepper, and Salt to taste. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Lay Squash, hollow-side up on rimmed baking sheet. Stuff with sautéed mixture and sprinkle generously with grated Parmesan. Bake for approximately 60 minutes, or until Squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Serve hot, with a side of roasted winter vegetables!
When I think of pesto, a variety of pasta dishes immediately come to mind, but this week, I wanted to push outside the box. This recipe offers a refreshing take on cooking with pesto that embraces all of its delicious qualities while inspiring a new approach, and it includes white beans, which I’m just crazy about. And it provides the perfect opportunity to dig into the delicious pesto in your shares this week, compliments of a Main Street Farms and Crooked Carrot collaboration! Pesto and White Bean Soup Inspired by the Food Network Kitchen Makes 6 servings Ingredients: 2-3 tbsp. Olive Oil 1 small Onion, diced 4-6 cloves of Garlic, sliced 1 bunch Kale, stems removed and leaves torn into chunks – or – 1 bag Baby Spinach pinch of Red Pepper Flakes 2 (15 oz.) cans Cannellini Beans, drained – or 3 cups cooked Cannellini Beans 1 cup Water 3 tbsp. Pesto 2 tbsp. Grated Parmesan 3 cups Chicken Broth 1/2 cup Roasted Red Peppers, diced 1/4 cup Kalamata Olives, chopped (Optional) Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: Heat oil in stock pot over medium low heat. Sauté Onions until soft and translucent. Add Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes. Sauté until aromatic, about 1-2 minutes. Add Cannellini Beans and Water and simmer until thick, about 8 minutes. Stir in Pesto and Grated Parmesan Add Chicken Broth. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add Kale or Spinach and mix until just begins to wilt the leaves. Stir in Roasted Red Peppers and Olives. Add Salt and Pepper to taste. Serve hot with fresh, crusty bread. Image courtesy of: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/pesto-bean-soup-recipe.html.
I think I fall into that unusual category of people who are crazy about Brussels sprouts. You could put a giant bowl of them in front of me and every last one would be gone within minutes. I hear that this is not the norm, though. If you find yourself with some Brussels sprouts on your hands and aren’t quite sure what to do with them, here are a few tips to help you through the preparation process: Storage: If you’re in possession of a stalk or 2 of Brussels sprouts but know you won’t be cooking them for a little while, leave them on the stalk and refrigerate them. If space is an issue, trim them off the stalk and store them, uncovered, in a bowl in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them. The outer layer will shrivel, and you’ll need to peel it off and discard it before preparing the sprouts, but they will still be crisp and yummy! Sprouts keep in the fridge for several weeks, if handled properly. Preparation: Trim Brussels sprouts off stalk, and cut off stem flush at base of each sprout. Before going any further, soak Brussels sprouts in warm water for 10 minutes. This will release any dirt and little unwanted critters that might be lurking around the top layers. Once soaking is complete, drain and rinse as usual. Discard any withered layers and trim off damaged areas before cooking. If cooking Brussels sprouts whole, cut a small X in the top (not the stem side). This will help the sprouts to cook through more evenly. Alternatively, cut sprouts in half, or in quarters if larger, to allow for quicker cooking while still keeping the layers of the sprout intact. Recipe Inspiration: My favorite way to cook Brussels Sprouts is actually to shred them by slicing them thinly with a knife. I caramelize some minced Shallots in a skillet with Bacon Grease, add the shredded Sprouts, a splash of Apple Cider to round out the flavor, and Salt and Pepper to taste. Sauté until they’re just wilted and voila! Simple, flavorful, and delicious! *Image courtesy of: http://www.taylorfarms.com/products/classic-vegetables/brussels-sprouts/.
This soup is a take on traditional Potato Leek Soup. I use ham stock instead of chicken, because it’s flavor complements the potatoes and cream so nicely. The buttermilk adds a tanginess that makes this soup stand out from other versions in complexity. For a vegetarian version, simply substitute vegetable stock in place of the meat stock. Potato Leek Soup By Holly Rodricks Makes 4-6 servings. Ingredients: 3 Leeks (white and pale green parts only), rinsed, halved, and sliced 3-4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter 2 large Potatoes, peeled, halved, and sliced thinly 1 quart Ham Stock (Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock may be substituted.) 1 Bay Leaf 1/4 tsp. dried Lemon Thyme (Use regular Thyme, if Lemon is not available) 1/2 tsp. ground White Pepper 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg 1/2 cup Heavy Cream 1 cup Buttermilk Salt to taste Instructions: Melt Butter in skillet or large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add Leeks and caramelize, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes until soft, sweet, and translucent. (The goal here is to cook over a low enough heat that the Leeks and Butter do not brown/discolor.) While Leeks are caramelizing, bring Stock to a boil in a large stock pot. Add sliced Potatoes, Bay Leaf, Thyme, White Pepper, and Nutmeg. Reduce heat to simmer. Add caramelized Leeks. Allow soup to simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender and falling apart when mixed. Remove soup from heat and Salt to taste. Add Cream and Buttermilk. Use immersion blender to mix and liquefy. Serve hot with a fresh crust of buttered bread.
This recipe started out as a way to use up some extra carrots, but it has turned into a trusty base, with the sesame and honey glaze providing a wonderfully warm and bright taste that compliments just about any winter vegetable that has a little natural sweetness. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding/substituting butternut or acorn squash, beets, or turnips, but be sure to adjust the cooking time to accommodate the changes. Sesame and Honey-Glazed Winter Vegetables by Holly Rodricks Makes 4 side servings. Ingredients: 1 bunch Carrots, sliced thickly 1 small Winter Squash, chopped into large chunks (Good options are Butternut or Acorn Squash.) 2 cloves Garlic, minced 1 tbsp. Sesame Oil 1 tbsp Coconut Oil* 1 tbsp. Honey 1/2 tsp. Sesame Seeds Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: Heat Oils in skillet over medium heat. Add Garlic and Sesame Seeds, and cook for approximately 1 minute. Add Carrots, Squash, Salt, Pepper, and Honey. Mix until vegetables are evenly coated. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for approximately 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Vegetables should begin to sear slightly. When vegetables are soft, add additional Salt and Pepper to taste, as needed. Serve hot!