Some of our favorite recipes
To me, eating is an intimate, spiritual act. When I eat, and put food into my body, I try to do it with awareness and respect for all the forces that came into play in growing my food. I do believe that "We are what we eat", and want my cooking and eating to reflect that. Over the past few years, I've been using only in-season vegetables in my cooking. I've also been seeking as much as possible to know where my food comes from, how it was grown, who grew it, etc. Luckily, we grow most of our food, so I feel a strong connection to it whether I am out working in the field, cooking, or eating. I find that when I prepare high-quality, fresh, live food (as opposed to dead, irradiated food, for example), the dishes I make taste great, and I believe that their nutritional value is higher. I found through experience that the same recipe, prepared the same way, can taste very differently depending on the quality of the ingredients used in it. I also believe that "A carrot is not a carrot" - one carrot may be very poor, nutritionally, while another may have excellent nutritional value, depending on the soil where they were grown, farming practices, and other factors. That is why I encourage people to talk to their farmer (or the produce manager if you're going to the supermarket) and find out how their food is grown. These are some of my principles around food, and following are some of my favorite recipes . They are all vegetarian, and are organized under the vegetables we grow.
(If your only reference for beets is canned beets from the supermarket, please give real beets a try. You may never think of them the same way again.)
Peppers (sweet peppers) recipes:
(Where do I start? I use tomatoes in almost everything I make: fresh tomatoes in salads and cooking while they're in season, and frozen or canned tomatoes for cooking the rest of the year. I will stick with recipes featuring fresh tomatoes for now. Below are two of my favorites - they are quick to make and delicious. We have them for lunch almost daily during the summer.)
Turnip (salad, or Hakurei) recipes:
This is a beautiful, thick soup, and it is a big hit in our family.
2 cups red lentils, rinsed
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
1tsp cumin powder
1.5 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
1/2 tps. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
2 cups tomato sauce
2 large carrots, sliced thinly
6 cups water or vegetable broth
1Tbsp lemon juice
(optional and very delicious: 5-10 fresh shiitake mushrooms, washed and thinly sliced)
Put oil in a pan, just enough to cover the bottom, and set on medium heat. Add onions, cover, and cook till soft. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, toasted cumin seeds, cumin powder, salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Add carrots, lentils, shiitakes if you have them, broth or water, and lemon juice. Cook on low-medium heat for 45 minutes or until the lentils are soft; or, put it all in a slow-cooker and cook on low for 8 hrs. Adjust salt and lemon to taste. Serve topped with chopped, fresh cilantro leaves.
Scrambled Eggs With Greens
One very easy and quick way of using greens is to incorporate them into scrambled eggs or omelets. Ed loves his eggs this way for lunch.
1-2 cups finely chopped greens (chard, kale, broccoli raab, spinach, bok choi, turnip greens, mustard greens, mizuna, all work well in this; or try any green that appeals to you)
salt and pepper to taste
(optional: sometimes we beat a little milk in with the eggs, which makes them fluffier; Also, you may want to add other vegetables such as onions, red peppers, etc.)
Oil a skillet and heat on medium heat.
Add greens (and any other vege you're using) and cover; Cook for a couple of minutes, or until somewhat wilted.
In the meantime, beat eggs (and milk if you're using it) in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Uncover the greens and pour them into the egg bowl. Stir the greens into the eggs until everything is incorporated.
Pour greens and eggs back into the hot skillet, and cook uncovered for 10 minutes (or until eggs are well cooked), stirring periodically.
We grow different varieties of red, yellow and white potatoes. We always have more demand than we supply. But, unfortunately, given the price were getting for potatoes at present it does not make sense for us to produce more. Store your potatoes in a dark, cool spot, not the fridge. We store them in our root cellar long-term (months), and for the short-term(2 weeks), we store them in a kitchen cupboard.
After the potato harvest, we eat homefries every day for lunch until we run our of potatoes. We love homefries and eggs, with our own home-made sauerkraut on the side, and a cup of black tea. I vary the spices in this recipe, depending on what I have available, but the basic outline below is what I follow:
· 3-4 Large potatoes (this makes enough for our family of 4)
· olive oil (enough to coat your skillet)
· 1/2 tsp salt and pinch of pepper (or to taste)
· 1/2 tsp each of the following: turmeric, paprika (or smoked paprika), rosemary
· Optional (but highly recommended):
· 1 Onion, thinly sliced
· 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
Scrub potatoes and cut them into bite-sized cubes (I do not peel our potatoes, but only scrub them with a vegetable brush to remove any soil that clings to them). Heat oil in a skillet (I use a seasoned cast iron 10" pan) on medium heat. If using onion, add them when oil is hot and cook for 2 minutes. Add potatoes and cover. Cook on medium for 3-4 minutes, remove cover, add all spices and herbs, and stir. Cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stir again, and add garlic if desired. Continue to cook covered, stirring periodically, for a total of ~15minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Remove the cover for the last 5-10 minutes and cook and stir. The potatoes should not stick to the pan (if your pan is well seasoned, and you've used enough oil), and they should be slightly browned and crispy on the outside, not mushy. Serve hot, and enjoy!
I make this up as I go, and use whatever is available. I've made it with fresh tomatoes and our own canned tomatoes, with fresh summer squash or stored winter squash from. I follow the rough outline below:
Put onion in a pan coated with olive oil on med. heat. Let the onion saute for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
Add assorted vegetables
Cover and heat to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer
Add minced garlic, all the herbs, salt and pepper.
Simmer on low for half hour to one hour, to allow flavors to blend. Check consistency of the sauce, and stir periodically. If you want a thicker sauce, remove the cover and simmer until some of the water evaporates. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and herbs.
Serve hot on top of pasta, rice pasta, spaghetti squash, polenta, or whatever you think may go well together. Add the pitted olives at the end, as well as grated parmesan if you wish.
(We love sauerkraut and eat it all winter long. Raluca loves it with fried eggs, or pretty much any other dish, and believes that the health benefits are as good as the taste. This recipe makes about half a gallon, which is a nice quantity to store and have around.)
Clean a 5 gallon food grade bucket, or any other food grade container that's large enough and can handle lots of pounding.
Shred the cabbage.
Add cabbage a little bit at a time into the 5 gal bucket, and sprinkle with salt. Use a clean-scrubbed baseball bat or a similar heavy implement to pound the cabbage as hard as you can. The goal here is to make the juices come out of the cabbage enough to cover it in the end. The salt also helps draw out the juices, so keep sprinkling and pounding as you add more cabbage. When all the cabbage and salt have been added, pound some more and press down on the cabbage until you see that its own juices cover it. At that point, get a clean plate large enough to barely fit in the bucket. Press the plate down on the cabbage, such that the cabbage is submerged in its own juice. Place clean bottles or jars filled with fresh water on top of the plate to weigh it down and keep the cabbage submerged. Cover the bucket with a clean kitchen towel, put it out of the way, and let it ferment at room temperature. How long it will take, depends on the temperature in your house. Mine takes a few days in the summer, and 2-3 weeks in the winter. In any case, check the kraut and taste it every day. When the taste is to your liking, move it to the fridge to slow down the fermentation.
(This simple salad is a real treat, and it's easy to prepare too. I make the aioli sauce and use it over several rounds of cucumbers, for 2 or 3 days in a row - keeping it refrigerated, of course.)
About 3 slicing cucumbers, or 6-7 pickling cucumbers, sliced thinly.
For the Herb Aioli, mix together the following:
Pour aioli over the sliced cucumbers and mix gently until the cucumbers are evenly coated. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. If you like the sauce a little thinner, as I do, add a little water, but don't forget that the cucumbers themselves will leave water soon, and thin the sauce. Eat cold or at room temperature. If, when you finish the cucumbers, you still have aioli left, you can reuse it and slice new cucumbers in it.
A green we mostly use in salad, drizzled with toasted sesame oil and balsamic vinegar. It can also be cooked, although I have to admit Ive never done it. I really love the taste of it, and many people find it delicious, but some dont care for it at all.
Our children eat these raw, as a snack, and love them. You can also slice them in a salad, as you would radishes.
The greens are delicious raw or sautιed with onion and garlic, (or if you dont have time, sautι them in a little olive oil for 5-10 min.) and season with salt and pepper.
Thanksgiving Turnips or Rutabagas
Cut roots and tops off. Scrub turnips or rutabagas (peel if you want to, I don't), cut into cubes and boil in water until soft. Drain water, add butter, and mash as you would mashed potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Use raw in salads, or as a snack. I like to slice them thin, and dress them with a little toasted sesame oil and balsamic vinegar for a nice side dish.
The greens are also edible: we steam or lightly sautι them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
(This is a simple side dish, loved by the whole family).
(This is a really simple recipe. My family eats a lot of homefries for lunch, and one day I decided to throw some turnips in with the potatoes. We all liked the result. I mostly use purple top turnips in this recipe, but any winter turnip will work).
(This is a wonderful, thick soup, that I like to eat in the winter, but it can be enjoyed at any time of year. The vegetables used in it are flexible - basically any green vegetable, such as peas, green beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc., can be combined with any orange vegetable, such as carrots, winter squash, sweet potato,etc. This is nice because you can use whatever is in season. You may get slight variations in taste, but every combination I've tried so far came out tasting great).
(Use them to make Pickled Beets, or as a salad)
Or, you can use them to make Pickled Beets.
(These beets are so delicious, I could easily eat half a jar by myself at a sitting).
We make this every day for lunch or dinner when zucchini is in season. It takes about 10 minutes.
Wash and trim ends off a large zucchini or summer squash (or you can use 2-3 smaller ones).
Heat up olive oil in a skillet on med heat.
Slice zucchini in thinnish slices (~1/8in), and add when oil is hot.
Cover and let fry for 2-3 minutes.
Stir, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Keep lid off and stir and fry until zucchini is soft and slightly browned.
Serve hot on its own, or in a wrap with rice and beans, or anything you think it may go well with.
(This makes a really nice snack. It is not very sweet. I love the nuts in it).
(Broccoli Raab has a very distinctive taste- it is a bitter green, but very delicious. Many people love it, and some do not care for it at all, because of the bitterness. Of those who love it, many eat it tossed with cooked pasta and sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese, as described below. I am not a pasta fan, so I like to eat it sauteed with garlic, alone or as a side dish. If you've never tried it before, I recommend trying it with pasta first, and then, if you really like it, on its own.)
1 bunch of broccoli raab
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed (or to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese)
Chop broccoli raab into bite-sized pieces. Use everything (leaves, flowers, and the tender part of the stalks). Compost the thick part of the stalks.
Coat skillet with oil and heat on medium heat.
Add broccoli raab and stir fry. You can add a little water and let it sear (not burn), until it looks wilted and bright green, no longer than 10 minutes.
Add crushed garlic, salt and pepper, and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve hot, as is, or toss in a bowl with cooked pasta, and serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
(This coleslaw recipe does not have any mayonnaise in it. I like how light and refreshing it is. And it is delicious!)
3c. Shreded cabbage
1 shredded carrot (optional, for color)
½ c. dry roasted peanuts
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 chopped chili pepper (optional)
½ tsp. brown mustard seeds
½ tsp. cumin seeds
Ό c. cilantro
3 Tbs. lime juice
Combine cabbage, carrot, peanuts and chili in a large bowl.
Heat oil on medium heat.
Add mustard seeds and toast until they pop.
Add cumin seeds and heat for a few seconds.
Toss spices with cabbage and cilantro.
Add salt to taste.
(I love to make a big bowl of this salad on hot summer nights and have it as a meal)
1 bag (or ~0.5lbs) salad greens
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
~1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
toasted sesame seeds, to taste
olives (or any kind you prefer), pitted and sliced
Put salad greens in a large bowl.
Drizzle with home-made ginger-garlic salad dressing, tossing gently until greens are evenly coated.
Top with slices of boiled eggs, seeds and olives.
(If you'd like to prepare this salad in advance, put everything together except the dressing. Refrigerate, and add the dressing just before eating.)
(I can honestly say that everyone who's tried this dressing has loved it.)
· (makes enough dressing for 1 bag or ~0.5lbs of salad greens)
1/2 in piece of ginger, grated or finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2Tbsp sesame (or olive) oil
2Tbsp Tamari (or salt to taste)
4Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2-3 Tbsp water
Put ginger and garlic in a small bowl. Add oil and soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Just before eating, drizzle over salad, tossing gently until greens are evenly coated.
(I use this recipe with greens such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, broccoli raab, chard, etc. I love it with and without the smoked paprika. Try it both ways for a change!)
~0.5lbs greens chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 large onion, or 4-5 scallions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves or garlic scapes, chopped
1 Tbsp Tamari sauce, or salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
Optional: ~1 tsp. smoked paprika
Toasted sesame seeds
Sautι onion on medium heat for 5 min.
Add greens and cover . Cook for 5 min.
Add garlic, tamari (or salt), lemon, black pepper, and smoked paprika if desired, and stir.
Cook on low/med heat for a couple more minutes.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!
(I love cabbage and this is my favorite way to cook it. And its so simple too!)
1 head of cabbage (~5lb), chopped into bite-sized pieces (dont shred it too small)
1 large onion, or 4-5 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
Ό tsp black pepper or more, to taste
1 tsp. smoked paprika
About ½ bunch fresh dill (you can use 1-2tsp dried, but fresh is better)
~1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups water
Sautι onion on medium heat for 2 min.
Add chopped cabbage and cover . Cook for 5 min.
Add tomato sauce, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, dill and water. Stir and cover.
Stew on low/med heat for about 30 minutes, until cabbage is very tender, and all the spices are blended in nicely.
Taste and adjust spices as you like.
(It must be summer!)
1 small head of garlic
1 large onion, or 5 scallions, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 italian eggplant, or 2 asian eggplants, chopped
2 zucchinis or summer squash, chopped
2 sweet peppers, chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes (or canned)
about Ό cup of each of fresh basil, cilantro, dill and parsley
1.5 tsp salt
½ tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
Ό tsp black pepper or to taste
2 cups water
Heat oil on med heat. Sautι onion, garlic, and bay leaf for 5 min.
Add eggplant, salt and pepper, and herbs. Cover and cook for 5 min.
Add tomatoes, zucchini, peppers. Stir and cover. Simmer for another 20 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
Taste and adjust spices as you like.
(I make this thick soup almost every week during the winter. It is so good, and it looks beautiful too. Serve it hot, with thick slices of hearty rye bread. I especially recommend Farm to Hearth bread).
1.5 c. sliced potatoes
1 c. sliced beets
4 c. water
2 Tbs. butter
1.5 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds (or less to taste)
2 tsp. salt
1 stalk celery, or half a small celeriac root, chopped
1 sliced carrot
3-4 c. shredded cabbage
black pepper to taste
1 tsp. Dill
1.5 Tbs. cider vinegar
1-2 tsp honey or maple syrup (I usually skip this when the root vegetables are really sweet)
1 c. tomato puree
toppings: sour cream (or yogurt) and dill
Cook potatoes, beets and water in a medium saucepan, on medium heat, until tender. Save the cooking water.
Melt butter in a pan, add onion, caraway seeds and salt.
Cook on medium, stirring, until onions are translucent.
Add celery, carrots, and cabbage, plus 2 cups of the cooking water from the potatoes and beets.
Add all remaining ingredients, including the remaining potato and beet water.Cover and cook on medium until vegetables are tender. Taste and cook longer if desired. Adjust seasonings (I especially like to adjust the balance of vingar, salt and honey until I am satisfied with the taste).
Serve hot, topped with sour cream, or yogurt, and a light dusting of dill.
(This is a thick, stew-like soup, which you can make with any winter squash or pumpkin)
2 onions, chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped finely
2 potatoes, cut into small cubes
1 medium-large butternut squash (~2.5lb cooked flesh)
6 to 8 cups water (or stock) I like it thick, so I use 6 cups
4 bay leaves
2.5 tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste (I use 1/4tsp)
1/2 cup half-and-half, or cream, or whole milk
6 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped, or 2 cups canned tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbs curry powder (mine is quite mild)
Bake the squash or pumpkin whole in the oven, at 350F, for about 30 min, or until a fork can easily be inserted through the skin. Let the squash cool down and cut it in half. Scoop out all the flesh (not the seeds), and set it aside.
Heat oil on med heat. Sautι the onion and ginger for 5 minutes.
Add potatoes and squash. Stir, and add the water or stock.
Add tomatoes, curry powder, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and oregano.
Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer gently for at least 45 minutes.
Add the half-and-half 2 minutes before turning off the heat.
(Serve over rice, or as a side-dish)
1qt. milk (or 4oz Tofu cut in small chunks)
1.5-2Tbsp lemon juice
1 lb fresh spinach
1 hot chili (or to taste)
Oil (enough to coat your pan)
1 small onion, chopped
1in long piece of fresh ginger, minced
2/3c tomato puree
1tsp cumin powder
Sprinkle of cayenne powder
Sprinkle of cinnamon powder
2-3Tbsp cream or half-and-half (optional)
For the Paneer: heat up the milk in a pot. As soon as it starts to boil, turn the heat off, and add the lemon juice. The milk will separate into curds and whey. Line a colander with a clean cloth, and pour the contents of the pot in it (do this over the sink). Let all the whey drain out, then twist the cloth up tightly, forming the curds into a ball. Flatten the ball (inside the towel) with your hands, and place it in between two hard surfaces (like 2 cutting boards), for 15minutes. Remove the curds (now made into paneer) out of the towel. It should have the consistency of tofu. Cut the paneer into small chunks.
For the rest of the recipe: heat up the oil in a pan, and add onions and chili. Stir and fry until onions begin to brown. Add ginger and paneer (or tofu). Stir fry until paneer starts to lightly brown. Add tomato puree, salt, cumin, cayenne and cinnamon, and stir to mix. Cook on low for 10min. Add the spinach in batches, covering, and stirring when wilted. Cook on low heat for 5-10minutes after spinach is wilted. Add cream or half-and-half, stir, adjust seasonings, and turn heat off.
I enjoy my spinach steamed, with a little salt and lemon juice added at the end.
(My sister has been making this pie for us with fresh spinach, and we love it. Our children cannot get enough of it, hot or cold. My sister also tried using other greens instead of spinach, just to mix it up a little. She tried fresh arugula, mustard and mizuna greens, and they all tasted delicious in it. Based on that, I recommend trying any of your favorite greens in this recipe, I bet it will taste good.)
1 lb spinach (or use 1/2 spinach and 1/2 some
other greens like arugula, mustard greens, etc.)
1 TBSP oil (or I use butter)
6 spring onions, finely chopped (if not available, use a small onion)
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup (3oz) grated Cheddar cheese
5 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 sheets filo pastry
1/3 cup olive oil (or I use melted butter)
1 egg extra, lightly beaten, for glazing
1 TBSP poppy or sesame seeds
1. Preheat oven to 415 deg F. Brush a 10x12 baking dish with oil (or butter). Wash spinach
(and any other greens you're using) thoroughly and shred finely. Place in a large pan with just the water that is clinging to the leaves; cook, covered, over low heat, for 2 min or until just wilted. Cool, wring out excess water, and spread out strands.
2. Heat oil (or butter) in small pan and cook onions for 3 min or until soft. Transfer to a large bowl and add spinach (and greens if using), cheeses, eggs, salt, and pepper. Note: I usually leave out the salt, as I find the cheeses to be salty enough. Stir until cheeses are distributed evenly.
3. Place 1 sheet of pastry in dish, letting edges overhang. Cover remaining pastry with a clean, damp tea towel to prevent drying out. Brush pastry in dish with oil or melted butter. Repeat with another 7 layers of pastry, brushing each lightly with oil or butter.
4. Spread filling over pastry, then fold edges of pastry. Brush each remaining sheet of pastry lightly with oil or butter and place on top of pie. Tuck edges down the sides, brush top with egg, and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Bake 35-40 min or until pastry is golden. Serve immediately.
8 oz (250 g) fresh basil
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts (I sometimes use toasted walnuts instead)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (I sometimes use Romano instead)
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper (optional)
1. Remove basil from the stalks. Wash and dry the leaves and place them in a food processor with the pine nuts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Process until finely chopped.
2. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream and process until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Note: to toast pine nuts, either place them in a small pan and stir over low heat until golden, or grill, until golden, stirring to prevent burning.
Variation: Garlic Scape Pesto.
1. Wash and coarsely chop the garlic-scapes. Remove any woody or tough ends.
2. Put garlic-scapes in the food processor with the nuts and the cheese. (Leave out the garlic cloves mentioned in the previous recipe.) Process until finely chopped.
3. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream and process until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Garlic Scapes taste just like garlic, just a bit milder. I chop them up and use them instead of garlic in any recipe. They can also be eaten raw, in salad, or as a side to your main dish. Another easy and fast way to use them is in omelets.
Last year, my sister made Garlic Scape Pesto for us, and it was delicious. We froze it in jars and ate it all winter, on bread or on pasta.
If you like garlic, and if you use it a lot, like I do, then you'll have no problem figuring out what to do with your garlic scapes.
Sauteed Sugar Snap Peas and Shiitakes
(I make this dish with and without mushrooms, and it's delicious both ways)
Serving Size : 6
3/4 lb Sugar snap peas
1/4 lb Shiitake mushrooms, stems Trimmed, wiped clean, thinly Sliced
2 ts Soy sauce
1/4 ts Sugar
1 t Sesame oil
2 ts Canola or vegetable oil
1/4 ts Sesame seeds (Optional)
1. Remove the strings from the peas if necessary. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the peas and
time 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until chilled. Pat dry with paper towels.
2. Prepare the mushrooms and set aside. Combine the soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil; set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shiitakes and saute 3 minutes. Stir in
the peas and saute 2 minutes, or until heated through. Add the soy mixture and stir until the vegetables are coated.
4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if using and serve.
2 large, ripe heirloom or regular tomatoes (Brandywines and Pruden's Purple are amazing for this), cut into coarse, bite-sized chunks
5 to 10 fresh basil leaves, finely shredded
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
Mix the above, then drizzle everything with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Toss and enjoy the taste of summer!
2 large, ripe heirloom tomatoes, cut into coarse, bite-sized chunks
2 cumbers, diced (optional)
Half a red onion, finely sliced or diced
Half a cup (or more if you like it salty) of crumbled feta cheese
Put all the above in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle fresh black pepper to taste and toss to coat evenly.
This sauce is really nice and very addictive. Try it with raw vegetables, such as carrots, or with vegetable spring rolls; or, cook pasta, top with shredded carrots or raw cucumbers when in season, and then drizzle on the sauce.
1 Tbsp olive oil
4Tbsp roasted sesame seeds
2Tbsp Tamari (or soy sauce)
2tsp apple cider vinegar
1tsp honey or sugar
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
fresh ground black pepper
Grind 3Tbsp of the toasted sesame seeds in a coffee grinder, and leave the rest of the seeds whole. Put the ground seeds in a small bowl, then add: oil, tamari, vinegar, sugar, cayenne, salt, pepper, and water. Mix well and make sure that there are no clumps. When the sauce is smooth and uniform, mix in the rest of the toasted sesame seeds.
We love spring rolls with sesame dipping sauce, and they are easy to make in the sense that you can put almost any vegetable in them and they taste good. They do take a while to prepare though, as each one needs to be individually wrapped, but the kids think they're fun, and everyone enjoys them, and so they're worth making, at least once in a while.
Sprig roll rice wraps (I buy mine at the Willimantic Food Co-op)
Cooked rice or rice noodles
Almost any vegetable that's in season such as:
Beets, boiled and peeled, and cut into slivers
Raw carrot sticks, Raw cucumbers, Raw radishes or Raw Hakurei Turnips
Greens (kale, chard, bok choi, turnip greens, arugula, etc.), raw or lightly steamed
Sugar snap peas, raw or lightly steamed
Zucchini or Summer squash, raw or lightly steamed
etc. I think you can be endlessly creative with this.
Boil a quart of water, and pour it in a flat pan, large enough to be able to accommodate the spring roll wraps. Add a little cold water so that you don't burn your hands when you dip the wraps. Take a wrap out of the package, and dip it in the water for 5-10 seconds. The wrap should be soft and malleable when you take it out of the water. Let excess water drip off into the pan, and place the wrap on a clean flat surface, such as a plate. Make sure it does not fold on itself when you're handling it. Add some cooked rice or rice noodles in the middle of the wrap. Then add a little bit of each vegetable. Don't overfill the wrap, otherwise you won't be able to roll it. Work fairly quickly so the wrap does not dry out. When you're done filling it, wrap the ends of the wrap over the filling and roll into a spring roll shape. It may be awkward at first, but you'll soon get the hang of it. Place the spring rolls neatly on a clean plate as you make them, and serve as soon as you're done with sesame dipping sauce.
Okra is a beautiful plant, that likes heat. It has gorgeous, hibiscus-like flowers ,and its pods are edible and delicious. Some people don't like Okra because of its texture, but many are very excited to see it grown here in the Northeast. This is my favorite Okra recipe (and it's quick enough that I can make it for lunch every day):
10-15 tender okra pods, cut into small rings, perpendicular to the length of the pod (a sharp knife should cut into the pod easily; if the pod is too tough, put it in the compost pile)
2 medium-large tomatoes, diced (save the sauce)
1 onion, thinly sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt and pinch of pepper, or to taste
(optional: cream, milk or half-and-half; fresh cilantro)
Oil a skillet and set on medium heat. When oil is hot, add onions and cover. Cook for about 3 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent. Add tomatoes and their sauce, and stir. Mix in curry powder, salt and pepper. Add cut-up okra. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, checking and stirring once in a while. Add crushed garlic, and cook another 10 minutes, or until everything is tender and well amalgamated. If you like stir in 2-3 Tbsp half and half and cook 2 more minutes (this makes it richer and smoother). Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Sprinkle fresh cilantro on top. Serve hot over rice, or with fresh, crusty bread on the side, or on its own. Yum!
Still to come:
Raw Kale Salad
Roasted Red Peppers