Looking for a recipe that uses just about all your CSA share ingredients at once? Guest Chef DeAnna Germano has just meal for you – a delicious skillet bake that is a medley of so many delicious vegetables in one dish that it makes our eyes twinkle and our stomachs rumble. Enjoy! Black Eyed Pea and Kale Skillet with Hot Tomato Oil by DeAnna Germano, Owner and Chef at Chef4Rent Makes 3-4 servings. Ingredients: 1 can Black Eyed Peas, rinsed 1 bunch Kale Leaves, rinsed and torn or chopped into bite-sized pieces 1 Zucchini or Squash, diced 1 Tomato, diced 1/4 cup Onion, diced 2 cloves Garlic 1 Japanese Turnip, finely diced 1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper (or more, to taste) 2 tbsp. Olive Oil Pinch of fresh Parsley Pinch of fresh Sage Pinch of fresh Thyme 1/2 cup fresh Mozzarella, diced 1/2 cup Tomato Soup Instructions: Sauté onion in oil over medium-low heat until caramelized. Add garlic and sauté approximately 2 minutes, until aromatic. Add remaining veggies and sauté until tender. Add tomato soup, herbs and spices, and black eyed peas, and cook down – approximately 4 minutes over medium-high heat. Sprinkle diced mozzarella evenly over top, and broil for 10 minutes in oven, until cheese is melted and browned. *DEANNA GERMANO, is the owner and chef at Chef4Rent, a local caterer specializing in cakes, home meal deliveries, and special events. *Image Courtesy of: http://cdn-img.health.com/sites/default/files/migration/img/web/2013/02/slides/easy-kale-recipes-400×400.jpg
‘Tis the season when zucchini grows giant overnight. This recipe is quick and easy, perfect for a family or easily increased for a large group gathering. Grilled Zuke & Herby Quinoa by Abigail Henson, Founder of LoFo* Makes 6 servings. Ingredients: 1 large Zucchini 6 Rainbow Chard Stems 1 cup Quinoa, uncooked 1/4 cup White Vinegar 2 tbsp. Sugar 1 tbsp. Kosher Salt 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta (Omit this step for a 100% vegan recipe!) 1/2 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and chopped 1 handful of your choice of Fresh Herbs (I like mine chock-full of Basil, Mint, Parsley, Dill, & Sage.) Salt and Pepper to taste 1 Lemon, juiced Instructions: STEP ONE: Quick-pickle your Chard stems. It is absolutely tragic when I see someone toss the stems of a rainbow chard- they are so crisp and delicious, and the splash of color they add to any dish is worth keeping them around. This is an easy way to jazz them up. They will start to take the brine in within 30 minutes, for a quick-pickle fix. Chop at the nape of the leaf of 6 Rainbow Chard leaves, trimming the ragged edges where they were connected to the main plant. Slice each stem 2-3 times length-wise, and then cut across the width by the ¼ inch to make tiny cubes. In a small bowl, mix Vinegar, Salt, and Sugar and stir. Place Chard cubes in the brine and let rest. STEP TWO: Cook your Quinoa. I like to cook a big batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week so that I can speckle it into my meals throughout the weekdays without much hassle. Place Quinoa in a large bowl and submerge it in water, gently swirling it around. Strain in a fine mesh strainer and add to a medium pot. Add 2 cups of Water and a teaspoon of Salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover pot, reduce heat, and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let let rest for 5 minutes before removing the cover to fluff. STEP THREE: Grill your Zuke. While your Quinoa is cooking, slice your Zucchini into 4 sections, then cut each section in half. Each section will act as one serving. Rub Zucchini with Olive Oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and put seed side down on grill. Cover grill and let cook for 10-15 minutes, until char lines have appear and pieces are fork-tender. Remove from grill and allow to cool slightly. STEP FOUR: Fill your Zuke. Taking the spoon down the center of the Zucchini gently remove the seeds and transfer them into a sauté pan. Combine cooked Quinoa and chopped Herbs. Add a drizzle of Olive Oil and Lemon Juice to the quinoa mixture. On medium heat, lightly toss all ingredients in pan. Transfer filling from pan into Zucchini boats. Top with chopped Kalamata Olives and crumbled Feta Cheese. Strain Rainbow Chard stems from the pickling liquid and sprinkle over Zucchini boats like it’s party time! Give thanks to the beautiful bounty you are about to receive, go forth, and eat local! *ABIGAIL HENSON is the Founder of LoFo, a company that specializes in conscious cuisine and provides catering, events, and education.
Lest you think arugula and kale can be only tossed in salads or sautéed and wilted, guest Chef DeAnna Germano, shares a creative way to incorporate these fresh veggies into a delicious party condiment! Arugala and Kale Parmesan Dip by DeAnna Germano, Owner and Chef at Chef4Rent Ingredients: 1 tbsp. Olive Oil 5 oz Arugula 5 oz. Kale 1 tbsp. Sugar 3 Garlic Cloves, sliced thin 1/4 cup Sage leaves, tightly packed 1/3 cup Plain Yogurt 1/4 cup grated Parmesan 1/4 tsp. Salt 1/4 tsp. Pepper Instructions: Heat Olive Oil in large pan. Add sliced Garlic. Cook about two minutes, until Garlic begins to brown and become aromatic. Add Arugula and Kale. Allow to wilt and cook down. Add Sage, and cook for 1 more minute. In blender, blend Greens, Cream Cheese, Sugar, Parmesan, Salt, and Pepper. Fold Yogurt into blended mixture. Serve dip cold (like hummus) with crackers, chips, or sliced veggies. *DEANNA GERMANO, is the owner and chef at Chef4Rent, a local caterer specializing in cakes, home meal deliveries, and special events. *Image Courtesy of http://joylovefood.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Kale-and-Artichoke-Greek-Yogurt-Dip-3.jpg
When I was a child, I used to play in my mom’s herb garden in the backyard, pinching the leaves and rubbing them between my fingers, sniffing them gleefully. Even though I had no idea how to use them, the smells were heavenly. I loved them all, but sage was always my favorite, with its soft green hue and big velvety leaves concealing a powerful aroma. Sage is from the mint family, but in flavor, it’s more like rosemary, with a hint of pepper. It pairs wonderfully with rich foods, which is why we use it liberally in all our Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing dinners. But sage isn’t only for special occasions. Chop it up and sprinkle it over potatoes roasted in the oven. Season grilled chicken or pan-seared pork chops with it. Toss it in with freshly cooked pasta. The trick is to use just enough of the herb to complement your dish. Too much and it will hog the spotlight. In a great little article called “Sage – Off the Beaten Aisle,” J.M. Hirsch, food editor at the Associated Press, offers a variety of ways to incorporate sage into meals, based on common cuisines throughout Europe. Hopefully, his ideas will inspire you to be more adventurous with sage! *Photo courtesy of: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266480.php
Last weekend, I visited Lockwood Lavender Farm during the Finger Lakes Lavender Festival and left with several fresh bouquets to dry at home. I arranged them into bundles, rubber-banded the stems, hooked jumbo paperclips through the rubber bands, and hung them off the utility shelf in my kitchen closet. Who knew you could do so much with a paperclip and a rubber band? Don’t fret! Such fun isn’t only reserved for lavender. Below are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way to stretch as much use as possible out of those big, beautiful bunches of herbs that come home with us from the farm. Treat fresh herbs like flowers. No, this is not a joke. You will routinely find vases of herbs around my little home in the summertime, and they make quite a fine substitution. All you need to do is collect the herbs into a little bundle, removing any leaves that would rest beneath the water. Trim the stems, and place your lovely arrangement in a vase. Place in a well-lit area at room temperature, and enjoy the lovely scents. Change the water regularly, continuing to trim the ends as needed and removing any soggy leaves that have crept under the water line. I’ve kept bunches of oregano fresh for cooking this way for three weeks! Wrap herbs in paper towels inside a sealed zip-lock bag, and store in the fridge. This approach is pretty straightforward. As long as the herbs are in a nice, moist, cool environment, they have quite a bit of longevity – up to 2 weeks! If you’re not a fan of herbal bouquets, this might be a better approach for you. Dry herbs for use all year long. It’s amazing how much money we spend on those little bottles of dried herbs when home-preserving is so remarkably easy. If you purchase a bundle of herbs so big that you couldn’t possibly consume it in a few weeks’ time, separate a portion. Rinse the leaves and allow them to air-dry on a clean towel. Collect all the stems into a bunch. For herbs with woodier stems, secure them with a rubber band. For more delicate stems, secure with string or dental floss. Then, hang that little bundle upside down in a dark area, like a closet, that isn’t too humid. (No basements for this kitchen experiment.) Herbs usually take approximately 2 weeks to dry, sometimes longer. You’ll know they’re done when they crumble at the touch. At this point, you can either crumble the leaves off the stems and store them in an airtight jar as is or use a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle for smaller, more even pieces.