Garlic Scape Kabob Skewers

Garlic Scape Kabob

Garlic Scape Kabob

Wondering what to do with those garlic scapes you are getting?  Why not try using them as kabob skewers?  Cut the stem end of the garlic scape at a sharp angle.  Push on your favorite kabob ingredients.  Place on the grill and cook until done.  Eat the whole kabob, including the skewer!

Taco Salad Night

(Clockwise from front center) Tomatillo and Corn Salsa, Tomatoes, Onion, Cheese, Cilantro, Green Onion, Black Olives, Lime Wedges, Lettuce

Taco Salad can consist of whatever you like. And if you’re also doing the CheeseShare, then it’s a tasty way to use some of that cheese! The ingredients below are suggested components – just prep what you think you’ll use. Note: I highly recommend using Whole Grain Milling, Co.’s (Welcome, MN) Tortilla Chips; they’re sold at local co-ops and some local grocery stores.

Suggested Components
Tortilla Chips (Whole Grain Milling, Co. recommended)
Taco meat or protein of choice (Penzey’s Bold Taco Seasoning recommended – directions on jar)
Tomatillo and Corn Salsa
Onions, diced
Lettuce, shredded
Tomatoes, diced
Cheese, shredded
Green onions, sliced or chopped (greens included)
Black olives, chopped or sliced
Lime wedges
Cilantro, coarse or finely chopped

Suggested Condiments
Salsa
Sour Cream
Hot Sauce

Directions
Once all of your selected components are prepped, then just take a plate and layer some tortilla chips on the bottom, top with taco meat, and add the rest of the fixings on top.
Finish with suggested condiments: salsa, dollops of sour cream, and hot sauce.

Tomatillo & Corn Salsa

Tomatillo and Corn Salsa

I invented this recipe for Taco Salad Night (a special event in our house), using corn cut from a couple ears of raw corn. Frozen corn can be substituted. I love lime, so I use a tablespoon of fresh lime juice, however if you’d like a more subtle lime flavor then feel free to start with less lime juice and add more to taste.

Ingredients
2 ears of corn (uncooked)
4 to 6 tomatillos, chopped
1 jalapeno
1 tablespoon water
1 thinly sliced green onion
1/2 to 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or flat leaf (Italian) parsley

Directions
Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the corn off the corn cob; gently using fingers break apart corn stuck together.
Slice the jalapeno in half and remove the ribs and seeds with the back of your knife; if you want more heat then remove less ribs and seeds.
Dice the jalapeno.
Place a skillet over high heat and cook the corn and jalapenos; turn down the heat to medium-high after the corn chars slightly.
Add water to prevent burning and scrape up some of the good stuff stuck to the pan.
Add tomatillos and turn the heat down to medium-low; cook for about 2 minutes.
Turn off heat and add the lime juice (up to 1 tablespoon), green onion, and cilantro or parsley.
Season to taste with salt.

Enjoy!

Pasta Norma

I thank the Italians for this delicious dish featuring eggplant. I also thank Jamie Oliver for his delicious version, but I highly recommend including the optional Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes because they give the dish that *wow* factor that makes you want to eat the leftovers for breakfast, unable to wait all those hours until lunchtime. This recipe calls for canned diced tomatoes, but if you are ambitious you can make your use peeled, seeded, and diced fresh tomatoes (I haven’t tried this so the cooking times may need to be adjusted).

Ingredients
2 large, firm eggplants
1 heaping tablespoon dried oregano
Red chili flakes (optional)
4 to 8 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced thin
A large bunch of fresh basil: finely chop stems and cut leaves into ribbons; put in separate prep bowls
1 teaspoon good herb or white wine vinegar
1 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes (I like to use Muir Glen Organic’s fire-roasted and garlic & onion)
Oven roasted cherry tomatoes (optional – use as many as you like up to 6 ounces)
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried spaghetti
6 ounces your favorite Italian-food-appropriate cheese for topping at the end (ricotta, pecorino, parmesan, etc.)

Directions

Eggplants
Cut eggplants lengthwise into quarters; if there are seedy, fluffy centers then gently use a spoon to remove.
Cut eggplant quarters into finger-sized pieces.
Heat a large, non-stick pan on medium-high and add a little oil.
Fry the eggplants in two batches, tossing to coat them with the oil and sprinkling each batch with some of the dried oregano; add more oil if needed.
Using a tongs, you’ll turn the eggplant until golden on all sides and place the 1st batch on a plate and begin the 2nd.
Once all eggplant is cooked, add the 1st batch back to the pan with the 2nd batch.

Norma Sauce
Add red chili flakes to the pan (optional)
Turn down the heat to medium and add a little oil, and stir in the garlic and basil stems.
Add a swig of your chosen vinegar and the cans of tomatoes (you can chop or food process them if they are too chunky for your taste).
Stir in the oven roasted cherry tomatoes (if using)
Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, lowering the heat if needed and adjusting the seasonings.

Spaghetti and putting it all together
While the sauce is cooking prepare your spaghetti according to package directions and heavily salting the water once it’s boiling.
When the spaghetti is cooked al dente then reserve about a cup of the cooking water.
Drain the pasta into a colander, place the pan back on the stove, and pour hot spaghetti from colander into the hot pot.
Add the Norma sauce to the pot and use reserved cooking water if needed to bring dish to desired consistency.
Toss together on the heat until heated through.

Serve sprinkled with the basil ribbons and freshly grated cheese (or bits of cheese if using a softer cheese such as ricotta).

Serves 4

Broccoli Gribiche

This is another fabulous recipe I recommend from one of the most frequently used cookbooks in our kitchen: Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day. I hope everyone goes out and buys her CSA friendly book! I really adore this recipe and it’s much easier than it appears. Hard boil the eggs once you put the potatoes into the oven. Make the dressing as the potatoes and broccoli roast. You want a slight caramelization and char on the broccoli and deep browning on the potatoes. The herbs are recommended, but feel free to experiment with herbs you have on hand. (I forgot to take a picture, but will try to add one the next time we make this.)

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds potatoes (waxy type as opposed to baking potatoes are best), unpeeled and scrubbed
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt
12 ounces broccoli cut into florets
4 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled (My directions for green free egg yolks are below)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil, chives, or green tops of green onion

Directions

Hard-Boiled Eggs with no green yolks
Place the eggs in a properly sized pot for the amount of eggs you’re cooking.
Run cold water into the pot until it covers the eggs by about 1 inch.
Place the pan on the stove and turn the heat on high until it comes to a boil (about 6 to 7 minutes).
Turn off the heat and cover the pot and set your timer for 10 minutes (I like a moister yolk, so I set my timer for 9 minutes 30 seconds).
Carefully drain the hot water out of the pan and immediately start running cold water over the hot eggs, letting the water overflow the pot in the sink until the water feels cool.
Once eggs are cool (about 10 minutes or so, adding more cold water as needed) remove them from the pot.

Broccoli and Potatoes

Preheat the over to 400 degrees F.
Cut the potatoes into chunks about the size of your thumb.
Using your hands, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and turn them onto a sheet pan and sprinkle with salt.
Put the potatoes in the oven and roast them until they are cooked through and browned (about 30 minutes); do not stir or move the potatoes during this time for best results.
About 15 minutes before you think the potatoes are done, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the broccoli and toss to coat.
Arrange the broccoli in a single layer on a sheet pan and sprinkle with salt.
Put the broccoli into the oven and roast untouched; the potatoes and broccoli should be done about the same time and both should show signs of browning and slight char (on the broccoli).

Gribiche Dressing

Remove the yolk of one of the hard-boiled eggs and mash in a medium sized bowl.
Slowly add 1/2 cup of olive oil beating constantly with a wire whisk; the dressing should look smooth and glossy.
Whisk in the vinegar, followed by the mustard, whisking each ingredient into the dressing for uniform consistency.
Stir in the capers, shallots, herbs, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Chop the peeled hard-boiled eggs and add them to the dressing.

Putting it all together

Place the warm potatoes and broccoli into a large bowl and gently fold in three-quarters of the dressing.
Taste and adjust seasoning if needed, adding more of the dressing if desired.
Serve.

Serves 6

Summer Squash Soup

Summer Squash Soup topped with Tofu Croutons

This is one of my favorite recipes. This is my modified version of Heidi Swanson’s recipe from Super Natural Every Day. I added more veggies and it’s the perfect dish that incorporates a lot of the vegetables that we get in our CSA boxes in July and August. You can also modify the recipe based on what you have on hand. And consider the tofu croutons optional, however they are pretty good!

Ingredients
8 ounces extra firm tofu cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste (or more if you like)
3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil (recommended) or extra virgin olive oil (plus more for the croutons)
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional, for lovely spice)
3 large shallots, chopped
1 1/2 pounds (about 5 medium) yellow summer squash or zucchini (or combination of both), cut into 3/4 inch chunks
2 carrots, cut a similar size as the potatoes (tiny cubes)
12 ounces potatoes, unpeeled, cut into tiny cubes
4 to 6 cloves of garlic
Corn kernels cut from 2 uncooked cobs of sweet corn
3 cups good quality vegetable broth
1 14 ounce can of coconut milk, or 1 12 ounce can of evaporated milk plus 2 ounces of water
Light or dark brown sugar (optional – if soup needs additional sweetness)
Basil, cut into ribbons (optional garnish)

Directions

Tofu Croutons

Season the tofu with a generous pinch of salt and toss with a small amount of oil.
Cook tofu over medium-high heat (do not stir or toss) for about 5 minutes until pieces are browned on one side.
Toss the tofu gently and continue cooking until the tofu is golden (about 4 to 5 more minutes) and set aside.

Soup

Mash the curry paste into the coconut (or olive) oil until the paste is well incorporated.
Heat the paste in a large heavy pot over medium heat until fragrant (about 1 minute).
Add the optional red pepper flakes to the paste and stir around for about 15 seconds.
Stir in the shallots and a couple pinches of salt and saute until shallots are tender (about 2 minutes).
Stir in the carrots and stir around for about a minute.
Stir in the squash and potatoes and cook until the squash starts to get tender (a few minutes).
Stir in the garlic and the corn.

Add the broth and coconut milk (or evaporated milk plus water).
Bring soup up to a gentle boil and then lower the heat to a low simmer (try not to overcook the vegetables).
Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes).
Towards the end of the 15 minutes taste the soup for sweetness; if you used evaporated milk then you may need to add some of the optional brown sugar to your liking to add desired sweetness.
Once soup is finished cooking taste it for seasoning and add more salt or curry paste if needed (however it’s much better to add extra curry paste in the beginning when you’re able to cook some depth out of the paste).

I like to grind fresh black pepper over my bowl of soup and then top with the basil ribbons and tofu croutons (if using).

The original, unmodified recipe claims it serves 6. My version likely feeds 6 hungry people.

Shredded Kale Salad with Tamari and Sesame

This is a quick and tasty side dish or snack. It’s also delicious the next day, just take it out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. You could probably try using Chard or any other hearty leafy green. I found this recipe in Marie Simmons’ Fresh & Fast Vegetarian cookbook (highly recommended).

Ingredients
1 small bunch (about 10 oz.) kale, washed and dried
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons tamari, soy sauce, or liquid aminos
2 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon (or more to taste) grated fresh ginger
1-3 garlic cloves (depending on your love for strong garlic flavor), grated
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

Directions
Cut along both sides of the Kale stem and discard stems.
Pile several leaves of Kale and slice into thin (1/8 inch) crosswise slices, resulting in 4 to 6 lightly packed cups.
Combine the rice vinegar, tamari, oil, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic in a large bowl.
Add Kale to the bowl and rub the dressing using your hands to massage it into the Kale until it starts to wilt (1 to 2 minutes).
Add the carrot, onion, and sesame seeds and toss with a fork.
Serve at room temperature.

Serves 4 

White Beans and Cabbage

White Beans and Cabbage topped with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

This is a recipe I modified from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day cook book. I highly recommend making the Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes to add at the end. They add a lot of flavor to the dish. I recommend using bacon ends as they’re cheaper. I’ve used pinto beans, but really any bean you favor will likely be good in this recipe.

Ingredients
8 oz. bacon ends, chopped
Oil leftover from making the oven roasted cherry tomatoes or olive oil
4 oz.  potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed, and cut into tiny cubes
Kosher or sea salt
2 cloves minced garlic
Corn cut from 2 uncooked cobs of corn (optional)
1 large shallot (or onion) thinly sliced
2 cups cooked and cooled white beans or 1 15 oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups (8 oz.) finely shredded green cabbage
Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (optional but so very good!)
Parmesan cheese, for grating over the finished dish

Directions
Place a large pot over medium heat and cook the bacon ends (lower the heat if they are cooking to quickly/burning).
Once the bacon ends are cooked remove them from the pot and set aside.
Increase heat on pot to medium-high.
There should be no more than 2 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat in the pot, but if there is less than 2 tablespoons then add either some of the leftover juice/oil from making the oven roasted cherry tomatoes or some olive oil.
Add the potatoes to the pot and a pinch of salt and cook until cooked through (5 to 8 minutes), scraping the pan and tossing the potatoes once or twice to lightly brown all over.
After the potatoes have been cooking for approximately 3 minutes add the garlic.
Once potatoes are cooked stir in the corn (optional), shallot, and the beans.
Cook the beans in a single layer for a couple minutes allowing them to brown a bit, then scrape up and toss around and cook an additional couple of minutes.
Stir in the cabbage and cook for a minute or two, until the cabbage begins to wilt.
Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and the optional cherry tomatoes.

Serves 4

Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

These tomatoes are so good you can eat them like candy, but they’re also perfect for adding to dishes that could use an extra burst of bright flavor, such as White Beans and Cabbage or a pasta dish. I found this recipe in Heidi Swanson’s cookbook Super Natural Every Day (highly recommended). I sometimes double the recipe and then store the extra in the fridge in a jar. Heidi claims they will keep for a week in the fridge, but good luck keeping them around that long; they’re delicious!

Ingredients
1 pint cherry tomatoes, stemmed and sliced in half
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup (sugar can be substituted)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or fine to medium grain sea salt

Directions
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the tomatoes in a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, and salt.
Pour this mixture over the tomatoes and gently stir around with your hands to coat.
Arrange the tomatoes cut side up and roast on an upper rack (top third) in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes until tomatoes begin to shrink and the edges caramelize.

Makes about 1 cup or 6 ounces.

Fennel and Pepper Salad

  • 1 large bulb or 2 small to medium bulbs fresh fennel
  • 2 large bell peppers, different colors, thinly sliced
  • 1 head radicchio, halved and shredded
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chop and reserve 1/4 cup fennel fronds. Cut fennel bulbs  in half and thinly slice. Combine with peppers, radicchio, lemon juice, and olive oil, garnish with the reserved fennel fronds, and salt and pepper, to taste. Toss and let flavors combine for 15 minutes, toss again and serve.
Based on a recipe by Rachael Ray