Friday, November 5, 2010

Harvest's End

The Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market is officially over for the year. Many, many thanks to all the people who made it possible: DeeAnn Hall of Eugene City Bakery for getting the project off the ground, Ned Forman for organizing it, Sun Automotive for generously donating space, Zambuko Marimba for their vibrant music, Allea Martin, Dan Armstrong and Lynne Fessenden for help and advice, and most especially the farmers and vendors who brought delicious local, sustainable food to our neighborhood. I look forward to seeing everyone back again next spring. In the meantime, I'll have a regular supply of heirloom beans from Lonesome Whistle Farm's CSA, which will be the inspiration for recipe postings through the chilly winter months.

For now, I wanted to share a few more recipes inspired by the bountiful produce from the Fairmount Farmers Market and motivated by my desire to master some Indian dishes. My friend Vidusha taught me this recipe for red lentils with coconut milk that has become a household standby, and is especially delicious when prepared with farm fresh roma tomatoes and onions.

Following Vidusha's directions, I simmer red lentils with water and coconut milk.

After they have cooked for about 20 minutes, I add chopped tomatoes and onion, and cumin, coriander, and tumeric.

While these cook down, I saute more chopped onion in butter with mustard seeds. If I could track down some fresh curry leaves, I would add these as well. Once the lentils are very soft and the onions nicely caramelized, I stir in the onions to finish off the dal.

At the last Fairmount Farmers Market, SLO Farm had some lovely kale, as well an tomatoes and onions. I decided to try adopting a recipe for quick palak paneer from  Neelam Batra's 1000 Indian Recipes, using kale instead of spinach. 

My husband was skeptical, but he had to admit that it was really tasty, seasoned with garlic, chili, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek

After cooking the kale until it was tender, I finished off the dish by stirring in diced paneer cheese (which you can find in the cheese section of the Market of Choice), ground corinader, and garam masala.

To accompany our meal, we prepared naan, following a recipe from Neelam Batra's 1000 Indian Recipes. The dough is made with some yogurt, which gives it a nice soft texture, and it's good to let it rise for 3 or more hours. Then my daughter rolled out ovals, while we heated a cast iron griddle under the broiler.  

When it was good and hot, we placed several pieces of dough onto the skillet, 

and within a minute, they puffed up (it seems like magic every time).

They just need to bake a couple minutes on each side and are delicious brushed with melted butter.

Together the dal and kale with paneer made a delicious feast.

To finish off the meal, we had rice pudding, or kheer, which is the simplest dessert ever when prepared in a slow cooker, and was lovely with fresh figs and toasted almond slivers.

Vidusha's Coconut Milk Masooar Dal

1 ½ cup red lentils
1 ½ cup water
1 can coconut milk
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 medium or 2 small onions, diced
1 tsp each coriander ground, cumin, tumaric
salt to taste
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp black mustard seeds
fresh curry leaves

1. Simmer lentils with water and coconut milk for about 20 minutes.

2. Add chopped tomatoes, half of the chopped onion, and coriander, cumin, and tumeric. Keep simmering for about another 20 minutes until very soft, adding more water if it gets too dry.

3. Meanwhile saute the rest of the chopped onions in butter over low heat with the mustard seeds and fresh curry leaves (if you can find them) until they become very soft and caramelized. Stir into dal and serve.

Kale with Paneer Cheese

1 bunch kale, washed, stripped from stems, and chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 fresh hot chili, diced
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 small onion, diced
2 Tbsp grape seed or canola oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
8 ounces paneer cheese, chopped into small cubes
2 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp garam masala

1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and fenugreek and let them sizzle for a few seconds until fragrant. Add chopped onion, garlic, and chili pepper and cook, stirring for a couple minutes. Then add the chopped tomato and cook down a couple minutes longer. 

2. Add the kale and cook until softened, about 7-10 minutes, adding a little water if necessary to prevent it from getting too dry. Stir in the paneer cheese, coriander, garam masala, and salt and keep cooking until the kale is the desired tenderness. If you would like to make a quick palak paneer, substitute two bunches of spinach for the kale and reduce the cooking time.

Tandoori Naan
from Neelam Batra

2 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup yogurt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups flour (I use 1 cup white and 1 cup whole wheat white flour)
1/4 tsp salt

1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water and let sit for 5 minutes. Mix in yogurt and oil. Gradually mix in flour and kneed the dough until it is soft and elastic. Cover the dough (I like to wrap it up in a large silicone mat) and let it rise until it has doubled in volume, at least 3 hours.

2. Heat the broiler and place a cast iron skillet directly under the heating element. Divide the dough into 10 or 12 portions and roll into flat ovals. Place the dough onto he skillet and bake for about a minute until it puffs up. Flip and bake for about a minute on the second side, until they are slightly browned. Brush with melted butter.

Slow Cooker Kheer

1 quart whole milk
1/3 cup rice
1/2 cup sugar
6 cardamon pods
generous pinch of saffron

Combine in a slow cooker and cook on low for about 6 hours until all the milk has absorbed and the pudding has thickened. If a skin forms on the top, you can just stir this into the pudding at the end.



Anna said...

What a feast! Thanks for such wonderful recipes, Karen.

Renee said...

Congrats on a successful farmer's market year and wonderful meals to go with it!!