Thursday, August 29, 2013

RECIPE: Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Difficulty level: Easy

Serves 6, enough to sauce 1 to 1 1/2 pounds pasta
For the Sauce:
  • 2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, prepared as described below, or 2 cups canned imported Italian tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
  • Salt to taste
  1. Put either the prepared fresh tomatoes or the canned in a saucepan, add the butter, onion, and salt, and cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until it is thickened to your liking and the fat floats free from the tomato.
  2. Stir from time to time, mashing up any large pieces of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Taste and correct for salt. Discard the onion before tossing with pasta. Serve with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese for the table.
Making Fresh Tomatoes Ready for Sauce:
  • Fresh, ripe plum tomatoes (or other varieties, if they are equally ripe and truly fruity, not watery)
  1. The blanching method: Plunge the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute or less. Drain them and, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, skin them, and cut them into coarse pieces.
  2. The freezing method (from David Tanis, via The Kitchn): Freeze tomatoes on a baking sheet until hard. Thaw again, either on the counter or under running water. Skin them and cut them into coarse pieces.
  3. The food mill method: Wash the tomatoes in cold water, cut them lengthwise in half, and put them in a covered saucepan. Turn on the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Set a food mill fitted with the disk with the largest holes over a bowl. Transfer the tomatoes with any of their juices to the mill and puree.
Submitted by Erin Hotchkiss

RECIPE: Beet and Cocoa Cupcakes

Difficulty level: Intermediate
I have a confession: I don't really like beets. So when we get beets in the CSA, I find creative ways to eat them so they taste less like beets. These cupcakes are the summer's first example! They have an earthy quality without any distinct taste of beet and the texture is very nice. They're not crazy sweet and would be great in the morning without the icing.

3 beets, trimmed, peeled, sliced
1 cup vegetable oil (NOT olive!)
1 cup buttermilk
2 TB white vinegar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 package regular cream cheese
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350

In a blender, combine beets, oil, buttermilk, vinegar and cocoa powder, blending until it's completely smooth. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour in the beet liquid and whisk together. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes and allow to fully cool.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar. When the cupcakes are completely cooled, top with cream cheese frosting and serve.
Submitted by Adrienne Mishkin

RECIPE: Pickled Pepper Hot Condiment

Difficulty level: Easy

Note: All I did was chop up my hot or medium peppers (while wearing disposable gloves!), cleaning out 3/4 of the seeds, then put them in a clean jar, and add in this: 

2 cups white vinegar
1 tb kosher salt
1 tb zatarains spice mix (or if you prefer, this can be skipped or replaced with another seasoning mix)

Add vinegar, salt, and spice mix to a boil, poured over peppers, close the jar, cool to room temp then refrigerate.

Put a little bit of the chopped peppers and/or the juice into sauces or with the onion and garlic at the beginning of a sautee and it gives a very nice tangy heat.
Submitted by Adrienne Mishkin

Thursday, August 22, 2013

RECIPE: Grilled Catalan Salad

Difficulty level: Intermediate

This recipe highlights the fresh produce beautifully!!!

1 large red or yellow pepper-cut in half and seeded

3 medium tomatoes cut into 6 wedges each

1 medium red onion cut into 5 or 6 wedges

3Tbs extra virgin olive oil

3 slender Asian eggplants

1 clove of garlic pushed through a press

4.5 tsp best quality red wine vinegar

flaky sea salt like Maldon

1-2 Tbs minced parsley
1. preheat broiler

2. put all veg (except eggplant) on a sheet pan cut side up. brush with olive oil. broil for approximately 15 minutes. Onions may finish first. Check the vegetables. When done, put pepper in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes to steam. Remove skin.

3. while vegetables are broiling, place a flame proof rack over the burner and heat with medium flame. place eggplants on the rack and cook until soft and charred all over about 7-8 minutes. Be careful of any sparks. Use tongs and transfer to a plate to cool

4. Remove skin from peppers and tear into strips. Arrange on a platter with the onion and tomatoes. peel eggplant and tear into strips. Add to the platter.

5. Mix garlic, oil and vinegar. Pour over vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and parsley
Submitted by Sarah Marder

RECIPE: Plum Butter

Difficulty level: Easy

10 plums, sliced

1 cup water

granulated sugar

cinnamon stick

whole cloves

ground nutmeg

1. Place plums and water in a medium stainless steel or enamel saucepan.  Bring to a full boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until plums are tender, stirring occasionally. 

2. Place plum mixture in a food processor or blender and process until almost smooth.  Measure and return to saucepan.  For each 1 cup of plums, add 1-1 1/4 cups of sugar.  Tie cinnamon and cloves in a spice bag and add to saucepan. 

3. Return plum mixture to a boil, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, until mixture is very thick, stirring frequently. 

4. Discard spice bag; stir in nutmeg (if using). 

5. Ladle into hot jars and process for 10 minutes (if canning)

Makes about 3 cups
Submitted by Sarah Marder

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

RECIPE: Gazpacho

Difficulty level: EASY


  • 1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess! 

After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.

Submitted by Erin Hotchkiss

RECIPE: Baba Ganoush

Eight servings

Difficulty level: EASY
  • 3 medium-sized eggplants
  • 1/2 cup (130g) tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/8 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • a half bunch picked flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.

2. Prick each eggplant a few times, then char the outside of the eggplants by placing them directly on the flame of a gas burner and as the skin chars, turn them until the eggplants are uniformly-charred on the outside. (If you don’t have a gas stove, you can char them under the broiler. If not, skip to the next step.)

3. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re completely soft; you should be able to easily poke a paring knife into them and meet no resistance.

4. Remove from oven and let cool.

5. Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. Puree the pulp in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients until smooth.

6. Taste, and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if necessary. Serve drizzle with olive oil, perhaps some herbs and with crackers, sliced baguette, or toasted pita chips for dipping.

Storage: Baba Ganoush can be made and refrigerated for up to five days prior to serving.

Submitted by Erin Hotchkiss

RECIPE: Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Difficulty level: Easy

3 Eggs
1C vegetable oil
2C sugar
1tbs vanilla
2 C shredded zucchini (about 2)
1/2 C cocoa
1tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
2.5 C flour
1/2 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 2 loaf pans

Whisk eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla. Add zucchini. 

Combine dry ingredients and whisk to combine. 
Mix dry ingredients to zucchini mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. 
Divide between 2 loaf pans. Bake 45-60 mins. 
Freezes well. 
Submitted by Sarah Marder

Thursday, August 8, 2013

RECIPE: Plum Torte

Adapted from The New Elegant But Easy Cookbook by Marian Burros

Difficulty level: Intermediate


stick (8 T.) unsalted butter, room temperature
cup sugar
cup unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
teaspoon baking powder
Plums, pitted and cut in half (Italian or purple plums are best)
Pinch of Kosher salt

teaspoon cinnamon
tablespoon sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 9 or 10″ springform pan and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the flour, baking powder, eggs and salt and mix on low speed. Once flour is incorporated increase speed to medium and mix well.
  3. Spoon the batter into the baking pan. Arrange the plum halves skin side down in the batter. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl and sprinkle it over the top of the plums.
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until cake test inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from pan and serving.
Submitted by Erin Hotchkiss

RECIPE: Sichuan Cucumber Salad

Difficulty level: Easy

Note: Sichuan peppercorns are also known as numbing pepper because they make your lips tingle. It's a little spicy and refreshing all in one! I used the whole variety.

Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer

•1 large or 2 medium-sized cucumbers, peeled

•1 teaspoon salt

•3 tablespoons cooking oil, like peanut or vegetable

•2 cloves garlic, minced

•1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper, ground or whole, or substitute red chili flakes

•2 tablespoons rice vinegar

•2 teaspoons sesame oil

•1 tablespoon sugar

•1 or 2 teaspoons chili garlic paste

1. Cut the cucumber(s) in half lengthwise, then cut each half again so you have quartered strips. Cut or scoop out the seedy middle section. Slice each strip into 3cm (1 inch) cubes. Put the cucumbers in a bowl, and toss with salt. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes, as the salt draws out excess moisture from the cucumbers.

2. Heat a small pan on medium-low heat. Add cooking oil, then add garlic and Sichuan pepper. Cook until fragrant, but careful to not to let the garlic burn. Set aside in a small dish to cool.

3. Drain the cucumbers through a strainer or sieve, and return them to the bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and chili garlic paste. Pour the mixture over the cucumbers. Add in the garlic and pepper that was cooling, and mix well. Serve at room temperature, or chill in the fridge for up to a day to serve cold.
Submitted by Sarah Marder

RECIPE: Tzatziki

Level of Difficulty: EASY

· 2 cups plain Greek style yogurt (I use Fage 2%)

· ½ cucumber

· 1 TB salt

· 1 TB minced garlic

· 3 TB fresh minced mint
Grate the cucumber using the big side of a box-grater. Add the salt to the cucumber and allow to sit for 20 minutes, then strain all of the liquid out and discard the liquid.

Stir together the cucumber pulp with the garlic, very finely minced mint, and the yogurt. This is a super delicious tzatziki. It can be used as a dip (my preference) or actually can be served warm as a sauce over fish.

Submitted by Adrienne Mishkin

Thursday, August 1, 2013

RECIPE: Summer Squash Muffins

Difficulty Level: Easy

Makes 24 muffins


3 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups enriched white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups grated summer squash or zucchini

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F Put muffin cups into 24 tins.
  2. Mix all ingredients, in order. Make sure wet ingredients are blended before adding dry, then mix thoroughly before folding in squash at the end.
  3. Fill cups about half-way. Bake for about 25 min until toothpick comes out clean.


Difficulty Level: Easy!

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed

2 tablespoons coarse sea salt or kosher salt, plus more to taste

Freshly ground pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Let the butter remain over the heat until the white solids sink to the bottom and turn a light brown and you no longer hear a sizzling sound, about 5 minutes. Carefully stir in the vinegar (it may splatter) and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.

3. Plunge the broccoli rabe in the boiling water and add the salt. Boil, uncovered, until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain quite well and then pat the broccoli rabe completely dry.

4. Dump the broccoli rabe in a serving dish, drizzle with the balsamic butter, and toss to coat. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Submitted by Sarah Marder

RECIPE: Sour Cherry Lemonade

Difficulty level: Very Easy!

2 pounds sour cherries

4 lemons, juiced

1/2 cup sugar

Pit and stem the cherries (try using a partially unfolded paper clip as a hook to get the pits out -- or just use your fingers because they don't have to be pretty for this) and blend them together to a rough puree. Add the lemon juice and sugar and blend again. Chill until cold. To serve pour into glasses and top off with seltzer, to taste.

You can adjust the sugar and lemon to your preference but this ratio is a great start to make this fancy and delicious version of lemonade.

Submitted by Adrienne Mishkin