Thursday, January 31, 2008

Root Vegetables YUM!

The local markets have a great selection of root vegetables now that are perfect for roasting.

Roasted Root Vegetables

All seasonal root vegetables roast up beautifully and get sweeter as they cook.
Celery root

Wash, peel if needed and dice all vegetables so they are about the same size. I like to call it bite size or 1 1/2 inch cubes.
Coat a large bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss vegetables adding more oil if needed to get everything coated. Place foil on a baking sheet and coat it with spray oil. Turn out vegetables on to the pan and roast at 425F for 15-20 minutes.
To add extra flavor add a couple of cloves of garlic and a sliced red onion.
Serve as a side dish or steam some brown rice and top your bowl of rice with some roasted vegetables, diced tofu or cooked chicken.

Left over vegetables can be made into a tasty soup by simply pureeing the vegetable in a pot with a stick blender adding vegetable stock to get to the consistency your prefer. Heat on a low flame until warmed through adjust seasoning, and serve with some fresh crotons.

Crotons can be made by taking some bread, cutting it into bite size pieces, tossing in a bowl with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper, and herbs of your choice. Place on a baking try lined with foil and prepared with spray oil. Bake in the oven or toaster oven on 425F for 5-7 minutes.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Red is on the menu in February

Almost February. Time to start thinking RED.

This is one of my favorite salads and can be served warm or chilled. I don’t like very cold foods – room temperature is just right.

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese
By Penny Rich

2 bunches of beets, greens attached, locally grown
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces of local goat cheese*
Drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup pecans or walnuts

Cut tops and bottoms off beets (reserving the beet greens) and wash off all sand and dirt. Wrap the beets in foil and place on a baking tray lined with foil in a 425 F oven for 25-30 minutes. While the beets are roasting, wash greens thoroughly. Cut off rough stems and chop. In a large skillet heat oil and add greens, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, turn off heat and stir through.
Remove beets from the oven and cool slightly. Carefully open foil and gently peel away skin. Cut beets into bite size pieces. Place greens on a serving platter, top with beets, salt, pepper and small pieces of goat cheese. Drizzle with oil and vinegar. Top with nuts.

*For this recipe I used Celebrity Dairy plain goat cheese

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Local collards still on the menu

Szechuan Buckwheat Noodles with Collard Ribbons
By Penny Rich

We are still getting the local collards and they are good.

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1 inch piece of ginger, chopped roughly
2 teaspoons Thai chili sauce
1 table Hoisin sauce
2 limes, juiced
1 1/2 cups water
8 ounces buckwheat sobo noodles
2 tablespoon canola oil
1 onion, sliced
1 bunch collards, washed and chopped julienne style

Combine sauce ingredients in a blender, soy sauce through water. Fill a large pot with water and set on high until boiling. Add noodles, cook 6-7 minutes until andante. While noodles are cooking, heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add collards and cook 4-6 minutes, just until wilted. Drain noodles and place in a large bowl. Add collards and sauce. Toss to combine. Turn out onto a large serving platter and top with scallions and peanuts.

Cooked chicken, shrimp or tofu can be added for additional protein.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Make your winter green

Green is in for the next month or so. That's what's growing locally. Try this Green Gumbo inspired by my friend and local farmer Betsey Basil.

Green Gumbo
By Penny Rich
Inspired by Betsey Basil
Serves 6

1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup flour
2 onions, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 green peppers, diced
2 –3 cloves garlic, minced
4 links of Soy Sausage*, sliced
6 cups vegetable stock
1 pound each collards, turnip or mustard greens, kale, spinach, roughly chopped and blanched**
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley

In a large pot, stir together the oil and flour to form a roux. Cook the roux over medium heat, 20-30 minutes, or until it is a nutty color. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, garlic and soy sausage, stir well to combine, and cook an additional 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add vegetable stock stirring to combine. Add the reserved greens, seasoning, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes. Serve on brown rice.

*Soy sausage is a meat substitute that can be found in the market near the tofu
**Blanching the greens – bring 6-8 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the water. Add each green for 2-3 minutes – remove to a bowl. Repeat with all the greens.