Vegetables

In My Dreams

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in Vegetables | 0 comments

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In my dreams, there are tomatoes;

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the glorious giving vines of summertime stored for winter.

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I drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper over the tomatoes and roast for 2-3 hours at 275 degrees F.  I prefer the tomatoes to remain somewhat juicy for sauces and toppings.  Of course, for a dryer more dense preservation, tomatoes can remain in a very slow oven (200 degrees) for many more hours.

After MP vacuums these jewels down, I freeze them and bring them back to life when it seems right--just like the folks from Wayward Pines!

--photo source: www.fox.com

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Pickle Cravings

Posted by on Jul 8, 2015 in Vegetables | 1 comment

It’s currently a thing. Certainly, I can’t remember when it started.  MP began making pickles; quick pickled vegetables of all colors and personalities.
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There are, of course, cucumbers, onions, and carrots.  Daikon moons, Romesco or cauliflower chunks slipped into the assortment too.

 

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Slice and load the ultra-clean jars. Add heat.

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Boil the brining liquid.

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I hitched up to my favorite; squat cucumbers pulled off trailing garden vines thinly sliced into wavy rounds.

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Don’t blink and take the time to smile. MP can accommodate more heat; merely ask.

Pickle Hour Monday –Friday commencing at 6 o’clock.

In his words.

Poppy’s Pickled Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pounds of vegetables
  • (Carrots, Cauliflower, Daikon Radish, Romesco, etc.)
  • 3 ½ cups cider vinegar
  • 3 ½ cups filtered water
  • 3 tablespoons pickling salt
  • 8 teaspoons pickling spice
  • 4 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • (3/4 teaspoon per jar flaked red pepper for hot mix.)
  • 5-6 canning jars with lids cleaned in soapy boiling water and dry.

Instructions

  1. Peel vegetables and slice into 1/8 inch rounds on a mandolin or with a knife. Cut cauliflower or Romesco into bite sized pieces. Put prepared vegetables in separate bowls.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine vinegar, water, salt and spices. Bring to a boil. (Reserve red pepper to add to jars later.)
  3. Add each vegetable to liquid one at a time. When brine boils after adding, remove vegetable with slotted spoon and put back in bowl. Repeat for all vegetables. Remove brine from stove.
  4. Line up jars and fill with brined vegetables. Pack tightly in a combination of your choice.
  5. Ladle brine into jars covering vegetables. If spicy mix is desired add ¾ teaspoon to jar before adding brine. Attach lids and refrigerate when cool.
http://cococooks.net/pickle-cravings/

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A Play on Pasta

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Vegetables | 1 comment

Not too long ago I sorted through some packages of vacuum-packed food stuff our family lovingly calls “freezer frights”; a simple truth coined by my brother’s darling daughters.   MP has a giant machine living in our laundry room which tends to this preservation.

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Based on a tiny tot of roasted garden tomatoes from a summer past,

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I combed the crookneck vine for more inspiration.  Egged on by a craving for pasta in a less carb state of mind, crook-noodles were presented.

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A sturdy orphan leek.

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garlic, anchovies, and, crushed red pepper sautéed in a cast iron skillet commenced;

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then shards of squash and tomatoes (or a 14-ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes) simmered to the finish line.

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Just two or three ounces of cooked linguini held the dish together

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topped with fresh basil, lemon zest, and a high dusting of Parmesan crowned it—

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Pasta!

 

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Dating New Sides…

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Thanksgiving, Vegetables | 4 comments

Sifting through Thanksgiving issues of food magazines, I see adopting new vegetable and side dishes and not offending family favs-- is a trend. Based on that I am moving ahead and trying a few—first up Squash with Dates and Thyme from Bon Appétit. The recipe calls for 3 pounds of acorn squash but I used a wedge of Japanese pumpkin and delicata squash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rich sweet winter varieties are easy to handle, roast beautifully and do not require peeling, which means we can eat the skin too! You will need about 2 tablespoons of oil (I used a combination of olive and coconut oils) for each pound of squash, a bundle of fresh thyme, garlic, and soft-pitted dates.  Lube everything up quite well and crush the cloves of garlic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pile them on a baking sheet, season and roast for 40 minutes or so, tossing the wedges half way through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few notes I will add—the variety of squash will determine the cooking time.  I suggest sticking to one type which simplifies the tracking and tossing. The slightly caramelized dates are the subtle star of the dish.  Roasting them for the full 40 minutes might turn them into charred rubble, especially if they are small.  I used large Medjool dates and found that adding them after 10 minutes was the key to sweet and toasty date nuggets. I am making this again!

Bon Appétit!

 

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My Romanesco Obsession

Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Vegetables | 2 comments

 

Few garden vegetables enchant me like the Romanesco.  Maybe the chartreuse color lures me to it.  Neither a cauliflower nor broccoli—this beauty is an example of a mathematical phenomenon called Fibonacci Fractal in the natural world. The spires create a pattern that endlessly mimics itself.

The Divine Proportion

As the season winds down from late spring to summer in a heartfelt Cali drought—I tear off like a guided missile to buy one every Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week the emperor weighed in at nearly 3 pounds—providing two glorious renditions of a song.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all love ‘one pot wonders’; here is my tune of ‘one skillet wonders’.  Forget that it was 105 degrees in the kitchen with 40 mph winds tossing patio furniture over fences; I pressed on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saute a rather large shallot with garlic in olive oil in a well-oiled cast iron skillet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toss the fractal florets with the shallot and garlic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combine custard ingredients and pour it over the turrets in the skillet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top with shards of Parmesan cheese before baking the gratin in the oven until the veggie points are golden and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the melting cheeses bubbling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mellow and nutty, soothing and sublime—and lightened up too-- if you cannot find my Romanesco obsession use cauliflower, broccoli, or a combination of both.

Romanesco and Swiss Gratin

Ingredients

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 large shallots, minced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6-8 cups Romanesco florets (24 ounces)
  • 1 ½ cups 2% low-fat milk
  • 1 ½ cups Jarlsberg Light cheese, shredded
  • 3-4 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3 whole large eggs
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3-4 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously spray the bottom and sides of a cast iron skillet with olive oil cooking spray. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the bottom of the pan; sauté minced shallot for a minute or two before adding garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Stir florets into the skillet with shallot and garlic. Drizzle with remaining oil and toss well.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together, milk, Swiss cheese, Dijon, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, nutmeg, and eggs. Pour milk and cheese mixture over florets in the skillet; top with Parmesan cheese. Bake the gratin 30-35 minutes until top is golden and vegetables are tender. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  3. Serves 6
  4. © Copyright 2014 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  5. All Rights Reserved
  6. http://cococooks.net/
http://cococooks.net/my-romanesco-obsession/

 

 

 

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Con-grab-ulations Butternut Squash

Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in Thanksgiving, Vegetables | 2 comments

Con-grab-ulations Butternut Squash

I thought my “little bird” dish might get some attention.  Maybe naming the-- red bird of Thanksgiving leftovers a peep potpie --was unseasonable.  I stand corrected, Poult Potpie (not to be confused with a young kangaroo, koala, wombat, wallaby, or possum).

Butternut squash roasted alongside donut shaped Italian Cipollini with Honeycrisp Apples layered in the red fowl bowl, won in the attention grabber category.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recipe is only a guide—squash, apples, and those darling onions vary in weight and shape.  Of course, pre-cut squash is available too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honeycrisp apples are one of my favorite apples this part of the year.  They can be quite large, are super versatile; sweet and delicious in slices, and firm enough to bake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sweet (chip-oh-lee-knee) onion roasts and caramelizes beautifully due to the high sugar content without a trace of astringency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toss the squash and onions with oil and maple syrup; add salt and pepper to taste.  Pile them onto a foil or parchment covered baking tray and roast them for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile toss the apples with a little more oil and  fresh thyme leaves.  Add them to the squash-onion mixture and return to the oven to finish.  It is a good idea to stir them now and again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serve the vegetables topped with toasted walnuts and dried cranberries.

This savory dish is a brilliant side to compliment holiday dinners along with the  coveted sweeter  traditional ones.  It especially appeals to Veggie heads. You know who you are!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Apple and Cipollini Onions

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (4 cups)
  • 8-10 Cipollini onions, peeled, ends trimmed
  • 1-2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,
  • divided use
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 large Honey crisp apples (about a pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and pepper (to taste)
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts, halved

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss squash and onions with 1 tablespoon oil, maple syrup, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; spread onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Roast squash, tossing halfway through, until tender and lightly browned about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, toss apples with enough oil to coat them lightly; add thyme.
  4. After squash and onions have roasted for 20 minutes add apple mixture to the squash and distribute evenly. Roast until apples are tender, lightly browned, and onions are just starting to crisp, another 20 minutes.
  5. Transfer roasted squash and apple mixture to a platter and top with cranberries and walnuts.
  6. Serves 6-8
  7. © Copyright 2013 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  8. All Rights Reserved
  9. http://cococooks.net/
http://cococooks.net/con-grab-ulations-butternut-squash/

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