Friday, September 19, 2014

Turnip and Millet Salad with Smoked Trout


This Sunday at at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can look forward to a selection of pastured chicken, lamb, and pork cuts from Fair Valley Farm and beautiful fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art CompanyGood Food Easy at Sweetwater Farm will have the following offerings:  

Fresh
Gravenstein apples, Asian pears and bartlett pears from SLO farm (make apple sauce)
watermelon and cantaloupes
corn and tomatillos (make salsa) 
lots of tomatoes, including cherries and flats of roams (make tomato soup)
sweet and hot peppers of all kinds (roast some for romesco sauce)
green and yellow beans (make a green bean salad with almonds and apricots)
potatoes and baby beets (grill in bundles)
broccoli and eggplants (grill and top with tomato and feta)
fennel, cucumbers, kohlrabi, carrots, and radish (make sushi rolls)
crookneck squash, summer squash, and zucchini (try Erica's recipe published in the RG)
cabbage (green, red, savoy) (stir fry with seeds)
radicchio, chard, kale, lettuce, including bagged mix (make a chard and bacon tart)
turnips and delicata squash (saute in a salad, below)
garlic and fresh herbs (basil, oregano, sage, thyme) and home-grown lemon grass

Preserves, Beans, and Grains
From Sweet Creek Foods:
Dill Pickles, Chili Dill Pickles, Bread 'N Butter Pickles, Pickle Relish
Blueberry, Strawberry, Blackberry, and Raspberry Fruit Spreads
Enchilada Sauce and Salsa
From SLO Farm: Applesauce
Assorted beans and grains from Camas Country Mill



Turnips are an old fashioned vegetable, but I think they are due for a revival, just as the names Matilda, Mabel, and Maxine are inching their way up the baby name rankings


One problem for root vegetables' image is their typical old fashioned preparation: boiled beyond recognition. More frequently today, one would find them roasted, but this involves the commitment of turning on your oven, which may discourage whipping them up for a quick lunch. I want to remind you that turnips (and other root vegetables like radishes) are delicious sautéed on the stovetop, taking no longer than their more familiar cousin, the carrot. Here I combined both tubers in a sauté with some leftover millet, that I layered on a bed of lettuce and topped with tinned smoked trout for a delicious and quick weekend lunch. 




Turnip and Millet Salad with Smoked Trout
for two

1 cup cooked millet
2 regular or up to 8 baby turnips
2 regular or 4 small carrots
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 large handfuls of lettuce
1 tin smoked trout in olive oil (110 g)

1. To prepared the millet, you could cook 1/3 cup millet grains with 2/3 cups water, simmered for about 15 minutes, yielding about 1 cup cooked millet. But you might as well cook up a larger volume (1 part millet to 2 parts water) and use in other dishes.

2. Scrub the turnips and carrots and trim their tops and tails. Cut the turnips into sixths or eighths to make bite-sized pieces. Halve the carrot lengthwise and cut into bite-sized chunks.

3. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Coat the pan with the olive oil and the add the turnips and carrots and a pinch of salt. Cook, tossing every so often, until they are cooked through and browned nicely on some sides, about ten minutes. Add the millet to the pan and stir to coat in the olive oil for one minute. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Turn of the heat and stir in the vinegar. You could serve this warm or at room temperature.

4. Arrange the lettuce on two plates. Top each with half of the turnip, carrot, and millet sauté. Layer on the smoked trout, and drizzle some of the olive oil from the tin over each salad. Enjoy.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa


This Sunday at at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can look forward to a selection of pastured chicken, lamb, and pork cuts from Fair Valley Farm and beautiful fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art CompanyGood Food Easy at Sweetwater Farm will have the following offerings:  

Fresh
corn (add to fish tacosand tomatillos (make the salsa below) 
watermelon, cantaloupes, peaches, and Italian prune plums
Gravenstein apples, Asian pears and bartlett pears from SLO farm (make a barley salad)
lots of tomatoes, including cherries and flats of romas (restock your sauce supply)
sweet and hot peppers of all kinds (for salsas)
green and yellow beans, potatoes, and baby beets 
eggplants and broccoli (make a roasted salad)
fennel, cucumbers, kohlrabi, carrots, and radish (toppings for peanut sauce noodles)
crookneck squash, summer squash, and zucchini (try Erica's recipe published in the RG)
cabbage (green, red, savoy) (make some mung bean and kimchi pancakes)
radicchio, chard, kale, lettuce, including bagged mix (make kale pesto)
turnips and delicata squash (try roasted with spices)
garlic and fresh herbs (basil, oregano, sage, thyme) and home-grown lemon grass

Preserves, Beans, and Grains
From Sweet Creek Foods:
Dill Pickles, Chili Dill Pickles, Bread 'N Butter Pickles, Pickle Relish
Blueberry, Strawberry, Blackberry, and Raspberry Fruit Spreads
Enchilada Sauce and Salsa
From SLO Farm: Applesauce
Assorted beans and grains from Camas Country Mill



Pan roasted tomatillos make delicious salsa. Their natural bright tartness, combined with the charred flavors from the roasting, are all that you need for a perfect topping for tacos. 



Rick Bayless Mexican Everyday has a couple of recipes for pan roasted tomatillo salsas. I've often made his version with chipotle peppers, but this time decided to use some fresh jalapeños from Sweetwater Farm.



We slathered this salsa on fish tacos with pan roasted corn kernels for an easy weeknight Farmers Market feast.



Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
8-10 tomatillos
1-2 cloves garlic
1-2 spicy peppers such as jalapeños
salt

To roast the tomatillos, you will want to use a cast iron or nonstick skillet, or to avoid a messy cleanup, you can line a regular skillet with foil. Heat the skillet over medium high heat, and place in the unpeeled garlic cloves and whole jalapeños. Meanwhile, remove the husks from the tomatillos, rinse them, and cut them in half. Turn the jalapeños and garlic and cook until they are charred on both sides. Remove from the pan to cool. Place the tomatillo halves into the hot pan, cut side down, and allow to cook until they start to soften and collapse, turn more yellow, and char on the bottom. Flip them over and cook them for a few minutes on the other side. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. While the tomatillos are cooking, peel the garlic and place in a blender jar. Remove the stems from the jalapeño and all or some of the seeds, according to your preference for spiciness, and add these to the blender jar. Once the tomatillos have cooled a bit, add them to the blender jar, including all the charred bits from the bottom of the pan. Add a generous pinch of salt and blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed. Pour into a bowl. You could mix in chopped cilantro and diced white onions if you like. Enjoy over tacos, with chips, on frittatas, or thin with stock for an enchilada sauce.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fermented Green Bean Pickles


This Sunday at at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can look forward to a selection of pastured chicken, lamb, and pork cuts from Fair Valley Farm and beautiful fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art CompanyGood Food Easy at Sweetwater Farm will have the following offerings:  

Fresh
lots of corn (make savory corn pudding)
watermelon, cantaloupes, peaches, and Italian prune plums (nice waffle toppings)
Gravenstein apples, Asian pears and bartlett pears from SLO farm (put on pizza)
lots of tomatoes, including cherries and flats of romas (restock your sauce supply)
sweet and hot peppers of all kinds (use in bean pickles)
green and yellow beans (make bean pickles)
eggplants and broccoli (try these grilled eggplant dips)
fennel, cucumbers, and tomatillos (make pan roasted tomatillo salsa
potatoes, baby beets, kohlrabi, carrots, and daikon radish (make banh mi)
crookneck squash, summer squash, and zucchini (bake a gratin)
cabbage (green, red, savoy) (great in slow cooker soup)
radicchio, chard, kale, lettuce, including bagged mix (make kale Salade Lyonnaise)
garlic and fresh herbs (basil, oregano, sage, thyme) and home-grown lemon grass

Preserves, Beans, and Grains
From Sweet Creek Foods:
Dill Pickles, Chili Dill Pickles, Bread 'N Butter Pickles, Pickle Relish
Blueberry, Strawberry, Blackberry, and Raspberry Fruit Spreads
Enchilada Sauce and Salsa
From SLO Farm: Applesauce
Assorted beans and grains from Camas Country Mill



Having experimented with fermenting cabbage, wheat, and cream, I thought I'd try my hand at some fermented green bean pickles. I followed the general guidelines for fermented yard-long beans from Liana Krissoff's Canning for a New Generation, but added some of Sweetwater Farm's cherry bomb peppers, garlic, and chives for flavoring.  




Just as with these other ferments, I was amazed at how easily I could harness the Lactobacillus workhorses of the microbial world. Within a week of resting on my counter, quietly bubbling away, my beans had transformed into tart and sour pickles, infused with spiciness and the sharp flavors of garlic and chives, the perfect accompaniment for a corn, summer squash and millet succotash, a green salad, and my latest loaf of sourdough bread.



Fermented Green Bean Pickles
adapted from Canning for a New Generation, makes one quart
8 ounces green beans
6 cloves garlic
2 or 3 spicy peppers, such as cherry bombs
12 chives
1/4 cup pure kosher salt
8 cups water

Wipe off the beans, trim the stem ends, and cut into 1 inch lengths. Peel and coarsely chop the garlic. Stem, seed, and chop the peppers. Chop the chives into 1 inch lengths. Place all the ingredients into a clean quart-sized mason jar, preferably wide mouthed. Combine the salt and water in a large pitcher and stir until the salt is dissolved. Pour the brine over the beans in the mason jar, and place the jar in a bowl. Pour the remaining brine into a gallon-sized resealable bag, seal, and place the bag on top of the beans in the jar such that the bag covers the jar mouth and submerges the beans into their brine. Cover the container with a clean towel and let the beans ferment at room temperature. After a couple of days, you should see the fermentation process happening as small bubbles form along the beans. Skim off any scum that forms on the surface. Taste the beans and continue fermenting until they are the desired sourness, about one week. Seal and refrigerate in the brine for several weeks, or drain and freeze in freezer bags for up to 6 months.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Slow Roasted Romas and Olive Oil Poached Tuna Salad


This Sunday at at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can look forward to a selection of pastured chicken, lamb, and pork cuts from Fair Valley Farm, handcrafted vegan hazelnut cheese from Avellana Creamery, and beautiful fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art CompanyGood Food Easy at Sweetwater Farm will have the following offerings:  

Fresh
corn on the cob (make corn and tomato salsa for fish tacos)
cantaloupes, peaches, and Italian prune plums (for Zwetschgenkuchen)
Gravenstein apples from SLO farm (make some roasted apple sauce)
lots of tomatoes, including cherries and flats of roams (slow roast, below)
sweet and hot peppers of all kinds peppers (pick up some spicy ones for these lettuce wraps)
eggplants and broccoli (try this roasted eggplant and broccoli salad)
green and yellow beans and potatoes (make a Salade Nicoise, below)
tomatillos (try this slow cooker pork and beans
daikon radish, fennel, and cucumbers (make pickles)
baby beets, carrots, and kohlrabi (try grilled)
crookneck squash, summer squash, and zucchini (grill with falafel)
cabbage (green, red, savoy) (make this Chinese cabbage with vinegar)
radicchio, chard, kale, lettuce, including bagged mix 
garlic and fresh herbs (basil, oregano, sage, thyme) and home-grown lemon grass

Preserves, Beans, and Grains
From Sweet Creek Foods:
Dill Pickles, Chili Dill Pickles, Bread 'N Butter Pickles, Pickle Relish
Blueberry, Strawberry, Blackberry, and Raspberry Fruit Spreads
Enchilada Sauce and Salsa
From SLO Farm: Applesauce
Assorted beans and grains from Camas Country Mill


Be sure to savor the end of summer this Labor Day weekend with a trip to the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market for some pretty tomatoes and flowers, and perhaps a stop at Eugene City Bakery for coffee and treats. Labor Day weekend is also a good time to devote to preserving some of summer's bounty for the winter months ahead.


This past weekend I slow roasted about six pounds of Sweeter Farm roma tomatoes, a project that requires very little effort (halve the tomatoes) but lots of time (10 to 12 hours at 200 degrees C) and is best undertaken overnight, meaning that you awaken to intense tomato fumes and a craving for an English breakfast. These tomatoes can be frozen for addition to pasta sauces, bean or grain salads, pizza, and wintertime BLTs, but we already made major inroads into our stash before I could freeze any of them. They proved to be especially tasty as a bed on which to layer olive oil poached fresh Oregon albacore tuna for a fancy Salade Nicoise. You can't see the roasted tomatoes in the photo below, but they are doing their job infusing the fish with extra flavor from below. I'll be picking up another flat of roma tomatoes this weekend for additional Labor Day projects.


Slow Roasted Roma Tomatoes
about 6 pounds of tomatoes for two large baking sheets 
Wash the tomatoes and slice them in half. Drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet, spread out the oil over the bottom of the pan, and sprinkle on a generous pinch of salt. You could also scatter over some fresh herbs such as thyme or marjoram and a few whole cloves of garlic. Arrange the roma tomato halves snuggly on the sheet. I arranged them cut side down, which let them stew in the olive oil, but I've also seen recipes that put them cut side up, which would dry them out more and caramelize them a little. I fit about 3 lbs of tomatoes per large baking sheet. Slow roast them at 200 degrees for 10-12 hours. This works well if you do it overnight, although the delicious roasted tomato smells may wake you up early in the morning. Cool them and freeze them in freezer bags for use in salads, pasta dishes, pizzas, BLTs, etc.

Olive Oil Poached Tuna
fresh albacore tuna (about 4 ounces per person)
olive oil
salt and pepper
4 peeled garlic cloves
sprigs of fresh herbs such as thyme and marjoram

Slice the tuna into 1 1/2 inch cutlet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and allow the fish to warm up to room temperature. Arrange the tuna pieces into the smallest saucepan that will hold them in a single layer and then pour over enough olive oil to cover the fish. Add the garlic cloves and herbs, submerging them as well. Bring the oil to a gentle simmer over low heat. You can monitor the temperature of the oil with a kitchen thermometer, and it should not get above 150 degrees. Cook the tuna for about 10 minutes or until desired opacity, then turn off the heat and remove the tuna from the oil. Smash the garlic cloves into the oil and allow to cool. Strain the oil and reserve. This fragrant oil can be refrigerated for a week and used in salad dressing (see below) or in a sauce such as a quick puttanesca made with slow roasted roma tomatoes.

Slow Roasted Romas and Olive Oil Poached Tuna Salad
slow roasted roma tomatoes (recipe above)
olive oil poached tuna (recipe above)
green and yellow beans, trimmed and boiled until just tender (about 4 minutes)
small potatoes boiled until cooked through
lettuce leaves, washed
cherry tomatoes
hard boiled eggs (add to cold water, turn off heat when water boils, let sit 6 minutes, drain)
salt and pepper
1/3 cup strained olive oil from the tuna poaching
3 Tbsp sherry vinegar

On a large platter, arrange a layer of slow roasted roma tomatoes. As soon as the tuna is poached, place it on the layer of roma tomatoes to infuse the flavors. Around the edges of the platter, arrange lettuce leaves, potatoes, beans, and halved hard boiled eggs. Scatter the cherry tomatoes over the tuna. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. When you are ready to serve, whisk together the oil and vinegar and pour most over the perimeter lettuce, beans, and potatoes and a little over the central fish. Enjoy with fresh bread.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Zucchini Gratin


This Sunday at at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can look forward to a selection of pastured chicken, lamb, and pork cuts from Fair Valley Farm, handcrafted vegan hazelnut cheese from Avellana Creamery, and beautiful fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art CompanyGood Food Easy at Sweetwater Farm will have the following offerings:  

Fresh
lots of tomatoes, including cherries and flats of romas (roasted and sprinkle with basil)
sweet and hot peppers of all kinds peppers and eggplants (make ratatouille)
Gravenstein apples from SLO farm (delicious in salad with scallions and bacon)
NW peaches and blackberries
green and yellow beans (make a school color salmon salad)
tomatillos and daikon radish (try tofu banh mi
fennel and cucumbers (make pickles)
baby beets and new potatoes
carrots and kohlrabi (try roasted with cumin)
crookneck squash, summer squash, and zucchini (try this gratin)
cabbage (green, red, savoy) (make kimchi)
radicchio, chard, kale, lettuce, including bagged mix 
garlic and fresh herbs (basil, oregano, sage, thyme) and home-grown lemon grass

Preserves, Beans, and Grains
From Sweet Creek Foods:
Dill Pickles, Chili Dill Pickles, Bread 'N Butter Pickles, Pickle Relish
Blueberry, Strawberry, Blackberry, and Raspberry Fruit Spreads
Enchilada Sauce and Salsa
From SLO Farm: Applesauce
Assorted beans and grains from Camas Country Mill


On a recent trip to my sister's, I rediscovered a couple of childhood cookbooks that my mother had purchased for us in France. The two volumes from Pomme D'Api feature simple recipes accompanied by pictures of charming French five year olds in the process of executing each dish. I remember pouring over these photos with fascination, marveling at these strange contemporaries preparing sardine toasts and ham rolls in aspic. American children's cookbooks are typically devoted to sweet, baked goods, and even the better ones (like Mollie Katzen's Pretend Soup, source of great popovers), don't stray from a limit repertoire of perceived "kid friendly" fare. The idea that children will only eat a few bland, vegetable-free dishes, epitomized by the uninspired children's menus in US restaurants, doesn't exist in France, where children are raised to eat four course meals in nursery school. For my sister and I, these fascinating volumes showed small children not only consuming "grow up" food, but preparing it with great confidence. And they inspired us to try to do the same. The greatest revelation was that many of these new dishes were easy and delicious.




One of our favorites was "un gratin de courgette," which transformed zucchini, an under-loved and over-abundant summertime product of our garden, into a decadent, pillowy soufflé infused with the strong flavor of gruyère and the richness of crème fraîche. Of course, upon rediscovering these volumes, my sister and I had to recreate this gratin. When we baked it in our childhood, we'd had to make all sorts of guesses about the ingredients list (volume of "un petit pot de crème fraîche" or "un verre de lait"?) but now with internet searching, we could  track down these numbers. The final dish was just as wonderful as I remembered, the perfect centerpiece for a weekend brunch with roasted plum tomatoes and fresh green beans, but unfortunately our American children would have nothing to do with it. I'm hopeful that after pouring over these books, their attitudes will change.



Un Gratin de Courgette
1 kg (2.2 lb or 4 to 5 medium sized) zucchini
3 eggs
100 g (scan 1/2 cup) crème fraîche (which you can make yourself, or use sour cream)
120 ml (1/2 cup) milk
100 g (3.5 ounces) grated gruyère cheese
salt and pepper

1. Gather your ingredients. The recipe calls for "courgette déjà cuites et bien égouttées" (zucchini already cooked and well drained). We decided to slice, steam, and drain them in a colander, which worked well to remove excess liquid that would leach into the gratin. One could also shred, salt, and strain the zucchini and use directly or sauté first.

2. Beat the eggs.

3. Mix in the crème fraîche, milk, grated gruyère, salt and pepper.

4. Mix in the cooked and well-drained zucchini.

5. Pour the mixture into a buttered baking dish.

6. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

HLTs


This Sunday at at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can look forward to a selection of pastured chicken, lamb, and pork cuts from Fair Valley Farm and handcrafted vegan hazelnut cheese from Avellana CreameryGood Food Easy at Sweetwater Farm will have the following offerings: 

Fresh
lots of tomatoes, including cherries and flats of roams (try roasted tomato fish soup)
sweet and hot peppers of all kinds  peppers and tomatillos (delicious pan seared in salsa)
Shiro plums and Gravenstein apples from SLO farm (make apple-topped teff pancakes
NW peaches and blackberries
fennel and eggplants (make fennel and sardine pasta)
baby beets and new potatoes
carrots and kohlrabi  (try this kohlrabi salad with lemon and capers)
crookneck squash, summer squash, and cucumbers
radicchio, chard, kale, and lettuce, including bagged mix (try corn and chard pudding)
garlic and fresh herbs (basil, oregano, sage, thyme) and home-grown lemon grass

Preserves, Beans, and Grains
From Sweet Creek Foods:
Dill Pickles, Chili Dill Pickles, Bread 'N Butter Pickles, Pickle Relish
Blueberry, Strawberry, Blackberry, and Raspberry Fruit Spreads
Enchilada Sauce and Salsa
From SLO Farm: Applesauce
Assorted beans and grains from Camas Country Mill


This past few months, I've been experimenting with bread making, culminating with a trip last month to the Bread Lab, where my co-instructors and I got to see the multitude of different wheat strains being bred by wheat geneticist Steven Jones,



a lab full of amazing devices for studying the physical properties of bread dough, like this bubble blowing machine,



and we were tutored by baker Jonathan McDowell, 



producing the most delicious loaves of bread I've ever tasted.



Back home, my next attempt at high hydration, naturally fermented, whole wheat dough was pretty much a disaster, and I had to resort to a loaf pan to bake it, but it was still delicious. This sour, complex whole grain bread I've been baking goes nicely with the smooth, mild creaminess of Avellana Creamery's vegan hazelnut cheese. Continuing in the spirit of experimentation, for my latest loaf I invented a new version of the BLT, which is a true classic but infinitely malleable. The HLT consists of whole wheat bread spread with hazelnut cheese, dotted with sweet cherry tomatoes, and topped with a tender leaf of lettuce.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Roasted Tomato and Fish Tacos with Kohlrabi Carrot Slaw


This Sunday at at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can look forward to a selection of pastured chicken, lamb, and pork cuts from Fair Valley Farm, handcrafted vegan hazelnut cheese from Avellana Creamery, and beautiful fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art CompanyGood Food Easy at Sweetwater Farm will have the following offerings: 

Fresh
lots of tomatoes, including cherries and flats of romas (try roasting for tacos)
sweet and hot peppers of all kinds  peppers (use your grilled vegetables on pizza)
Shiro plums from SLO farm, NW peaches, and blackberries (try a plum and berry galette)
fennel and eggplants
baby beets and new potatoes (Salade Nicoise is nice on a hot summer day)
carrots and kohlrabi  (try the slaw below)
crookneck squash, summer squash, and cucumbers (make Ume Grill's Tsukemono)
radicchio, chard, kale, and lettuce, including ready-to-eat bagged mix
garlic and fresh herbs (cilantro, dill, basil, oregano, sage, thyme) and home-grown lemon grass

Preserves, Beans, and Grains
From Sweet Creek Foods:
Dill Pickles, Chili Dill Pickles, Bread 'N Butter Pickles, Pickle Relish
Blueberry, Strawberry, Blackberry, and Raspberry Fruit Spreads
Enchilada Sauce and Salsa
From SLO Farm: Applesauce
Assorted beans and grains from Camas Country Mill


Sweetwater Farm's summer harvest is reaching its peak. Their abundance of tomatoes and peppers are the perfect ingredients for fish tacos for a crowd, made simply with a couple of baking sheets as we did last weekend with a family crowd on the coast. First roast some halved tomatoes and peppers, topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt in a 350 degree oven. When these are nicely caramelized, put your fish on a baking sheet, topped again with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. If you have them, you could add a dusting of ground cumin and chipotle pepper, but in our sparse rental house kitchen, we made due with just salt and pepper and the intense flavors of the roasted vegetables, and the tacos were delicious. The fish will cook quickly, just in time to heat up some tortillas on the lower rack of the oven. With a bevy of cooks in the kitchen, we had all sorts of tasty toppings and sides. A favorite was a light lime slaw of kohlrabi and purple carrots, with the kohlrabi leaves reserved for taco toppings. The best part of this bountiful summer spread was that everyone could taylor their tacos to their personal taste.



Roasted Tomato and Fish Tacos for a Crowd

firm tomatoes such as romas (about 2 per person)
peppers of colors and spiciness that will suit your guests (about 1 per person)
white fish such as cod or sole (about 1/4 lb per person, check for best types to buy)
olive oil
fresh lime juice
salt and pepper
ground cumin (optional)
ground chipotle chile (optional)
small tortillas, corn or flour (2 or 3 per person)

Other taco fixings
sliced fresh or pickled radishes
shredded cabbage or kohlrabi leaves
cilantro
avocado
lime wedges
black beans
diced cotija cheese
sour cream or creme Mexicana
hot sauce, like Cholula

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Halve the tomatoes and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Halve the peppers and remove their stems and seeds. Arrange them next to the tomatoes or on a second baking sheet. Drizzle the vegetables with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for about 30 minutes, until they are very soft and begin to caramelize. Remove and reserve.

2. Arrange the fish on a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and other spices if using. Drizzle with a little olive oil and lime juice. Roast until the fish is just opaque throughout, which will depend on the thickness of the fish but will go quickly.

3. Meanwhile, arrange tortillas on a clean baking sheet or directly on the oven rack and bake briefly on each side, about a minute per side, until they just start to show a few brown spots. Store under a kitchen towel to keep from drying out.

4. Everyone can assemble their own tacos, including fish, a roasted tomato half, roasted peppers, and any other toppings they like. Enjoy.


Kohlrabi Carrot Slaw
1 medium kohlrabi
3 colorful carrots
juice from 1 lime
2 Tbsp olive oil
generous pinch of salt
tiny pinch of sugar

Generously trim the kohlrabi bulb of its tough skin and cut into julienne strips. Scrub, top, and tail the carrots and cut into julienne strips. Combine the kohlrabi and carrots in a bowl, toss with the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings. It's fine to let this sit and pickle for a few hours if you want to make it ahead.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mason Jar Smoothies


This Sunday at at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can look forward to a selection of pastured chicken, lamb, and pork cuts from Fair Valley Farm, handcrafted vegan hazelnut cheese from Avellana Creamery, and beautiful fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art CompanyGood Food Easy at Sweetwater Farm will have the following offerings: 

Fresh
Shiro plums from SLO farm and some blackberries (make mason jar smoothies)
lots of tomatoes (flats and half-flats this week for salsa and sauce making)
fennel (delicious pickled or in this pasta sauce with sardines)
eggplants (try them grilled in Asian salad or Middle Eastern spread)
sweet red and orange peppers, cayennes, jalapeños, anaheim and poblano peppers 
baby beets and new potatoes
carrots and kohlrabi  (try this carrot and kohlrabi salad with harissa)
crookneck squash, summer squash, and cucumbers 
chard and kale (try these kale and pepper stuffed pizzas)
garlic and fresh herbs (cilantro, dill, basil, oregano, sage, thyme) and home-grown lemon grass
lettuce, including ready-to-eat bagged mix (try these beef lettuce wraps)

Preserves, Beans, and Grains
From Sweet Creek Foods:
Dill Pickles, Chili Dill Pickles, Bread 'N Butter Pickles, Pickle Relish
Blueberry, Strawberry, Blackberry, and Raspberry Fruit Spreads
Enchilada Sauce and Salsa
From SLO Farm: Applesauce
Assorted beans and grains from Camas Country Mill


With the sweltering summer weather we've been experiencing this week, I wanted to share a nifty trick for the high throughput production of personalized smoothies with little cleanup: turn a mason jar into your one stop blender jar and serving vessel. 


It turns out that standard mason jars have the same sized mouth as the bottom opening of standard blenders, so you can screw on the blade and base of your blender and whirl away. I've been a bit giddy about this mini-food processor hack and have been blending up salad dressings and marinades galore. But it really comes in handy when everyone in the family wants a slightly different smoothie concoction. You can create a smoothie assembly line with chopped fruit, frozen berries, yogurt, and add-ins (I like dried figs and chia seeds) and everyone's a winner*. 

*Quote from a saccharine sandcastle contest judge, which has become part of our family lexicon, and in this context should be taken as a subtle hint not to make your smoothie too sweet.


Blueberry, Peach, and Fig Smoothie
serves one
1 handful frozen berries
1/2 peach or a couple plums
1/2 cup yogurt (I use Nancy's organic plain whole milk yogurt)
2 dried figs
1 ice cube (optional)
1 tsp chia seeds (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a pint sized mason jar. Place the blender blade on top and screw on the blender base. Invert the jar and fit the base into your blender. Blend on high until smooth. Invert the jar, remove the base and blade, and drink.

Transfer the blade and base to a new mason jar with smoothie ingredients ready for blending, and you have yourself an assembly line.