My daughter loves bruschetta. She requests it all the time. When we picked up our farm share this week and she saw the tomatoes and the basil she immediately shouted for bruschetta.
I also love bruschetta. I love it for its simplicity. It’s a “cruda” at its best – simple, flavorful ingredients chopped roughly and combined simply. It’s also a perfect summer dish. Bruschetta makes a simple, flavorful use of all kinds of amazing ingredients, with simple basic preparations. Because of the bounty of tomatoes this year, I’m posting a traditional tomato recipe today, but look around on-line and I’m sure you’ll find recipes using chick peas, roasted garlic, olives, anchovies, eggplant and all kinds of amazing ingredients. But for today, we’re going for summer simplicity. This is also a perfect summer recipe because nothing gets cooked, meaning you’re not introducing any heat to your kitchen!
Tomato Basil Mozzarella Bruschetta
• 1 cup diced tomatoes
• 3 – 4 leaves basil, stacked, rolled and sliced very, very thin. (Here’s a description of the chiffonade technique)
• ½ cup diced FRESH mozerella – use fresh, seriously. It makes a huge difference.
• 1 tbsp olive oil (a drizzle)
• 2 tsp balsamic vinegar (a smaller drizzle)
• Salt & Pepper to taste (a pinch and a grind if ya’ know what I’m saying….)
• A baguette or a loaf ciabatta or some other chewy, crusty, lovely bread, sliced.
Combine everything BUT the bread in a bowl and stir to combine. Spoon the mixture on to the sliced bread. Some people start with toasted bread, and that’s good too. Toasted bread will maintain more texture when the wet tomatoes are introduced, and for parties or any time the bruschetta will sit at all, this is preferable, and you should toast the bread. But at home, we like the bread untoasted, so it soaks up all of the juices. (But then you have to eat it right away, so it doesn’t get soggy, dig?)
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Fresh Tomato Gazpacho
• 4 fresh tomatoes, diced & divided in 1/2
• I fresh cucumber, seeded & diced & divided in 1/2
• 2 fresh bell peppers, seeded, cored & diced & divided in 1/2
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled & diced
• 1 small handful fresh parsley, rinsed and diced
• 3 – 4 leaves basil, diced
• ¼ cup red wine vinegar
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• A dash or two of Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tsp salt
• Several grinds of fresh pepper
• 4 – 6 cups tomato juice, divided
• A few shakes of hot pepper sauce (like Tabasco or Louisiana hot sauce – this can be added to the whole batch or to individual bowls at the preference of the eater)
Place ½ of the diced tomato, cucumber & bell pepper in a large, pretty bowl and reserve.
In the jar of a blender, place the diced garlic, parsley, basil, red wine vinegar, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce (if using in whole batch) & 1 cup tomato juice and blend until smooth. (The idea here is to get all of the garlic and herbs blended evenly throughout this “flavor base”.)
To the mixture in the blender, add the remaining ½ of all of the diced vegetables. Blend until mixture is consistent and smooth – but still textured, about 30 – 60 seconds.
Add this mixture and 3 cups of the remaining tomato juice to the bowl of chopped veggies. Now take a
look. Is it too thick, or just right? If you’d like it to be a little thinner, add more tomato juice.
Chill for an hour or so, to allow the flavors to blend, or you can eat right away. It keeps well in the fridge for 2 – 3 days, and works great packed for lunch. I like mine with a little cheese and crackers, or bruschetta. And don’t forget the pepper sauce!
Friday, April 29, 2011
I was really inspired by this article by Carol Ann Sayle, and I've been trying to use ALL the vegetable, whenever I can, since reading it. And like a lot of people, I feel particularly challenged by kohlrabi. It's hard enough to use the bulb, but the greens, too? (I'll use the bulb in a recipe for slaw very soon.) So with a plan to use as much of my share as possible, I headed into my kitchen.
I very literally grew up with a version of spanikopita from the cookbook, The Vegetarian Epicure. My mom is a wonderful cook, and this was one of my very favorite things that she made. The recipe is really very simple. Spinach, onions, feta, eggs and some seasoning inside phyllo. I used this as my inspiration in creating the following recipe.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Farm Inspired Asian Lettuce Wraps
1 head good quality lettuce (any variety with big strong leaves will work. I used buttercrunch here. Don't use iceberg - just don't - you shouldn't even have it in your house) carefully cleaned, with leaves separated.*
1-2 tbsp canola oil
1 lb ground chicken**, skinned and boned (but really, any ground meat will do. You could also use tofu, just the veggies, adding a full pound or so of mushrooms )
1-3 cloves garlic, finely minced (however much you like)
2-3 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 fresh carrots, peeled and then grated
2 - 3 green onions, diced (white and green parts)
4 medium mushrooms (I used shitake, but use what you have)
1 5 oz can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
In a medium sized bowl, combine the ground meat, the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil, and
mix to combine. Let rest so the flavors can combine while you clean and grate carrots and dice the onions, mushrooms and water chestnuts.
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat and add the canola oil. Brown the ground meat mixture (approx 7 - 10 minutes). Add the carrots, onions, mushrooms and water chestnuts and cook until all the ingredients are warmed through.
Spoon the mixture into clean, dry lettuce leaves and top with sauce, recipe below.
Sauce for Lettuce Wraps:
1/2 teaspoon cornstartch
1 1/2 teaspoon water
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp agave syrup or honey
2 cloves finely minced garlic
1 tbsp peeled, finely grated ginger
Stil together the cornstarch and water and reserve
Combine rice vinegar, rice wine and soy sauce in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the cornstartch mixture, sesame oil and sweetner. Cook over low hear just until this starts to simmer. Add the garlic and the ginger and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to warm or room temp before using. (You don't want to wilt your lettuce....)
*The best way to clean fresh lettuce for this or any recipe is to separate the leaves and place them in a very clean sink or tub filled with water, and rinse them carefully by gently swishing them around. Then, you can either lay them out to dry on a towel, or take them for a spin in a salad spinner.
**When I make this at home, I "grind" my own chicken from boneless skinless thigh meat. I usually have some organic thighs in the freezer - I defrost them about 80% of the way, and then toss them in the food processor with the garlic, the ginger, the soy sauce, the vinegar and the sesame oil, and pulse until the meat is a coarse grind.
This is really just a simple reminder, in case you've forgotten. Roasted root veggies are delicious. And easy. Peel your veggies. Cut off the very tops and very bottoms. Slice the veggies into bite-sized pieces (about 1 inch) - mostly just make sure they're all the same size, so they cook evenly.
Place them in your favorite roasting pan and drizzle them with olive oil. Toss them around so they coat evenly, and sprinkle with some good salt. Place in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for an hour or so.
You can use almost anything. Carrots. Beets. Turnips. Potatoes (scrub, but don't peel). Rutabagas. Parsnips. Mmmmm.
The carrots and beets in this photo were eaten as part of a back yard dinner with very beloved friends. And they tasted soooooo good.
Posted by Emily at 9:03 AM