Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

April showers

After a gorgeous day yesterday, and a sunny start this morning, it is now gray and rainy.  Luckily I got the bulk of my yard-tidying accomplished before the rain – although I had grand delusions of much more mulching and trimming.

Ah, spring.

I’ve definitely turned to spring eating – I just don’t want heavy food anymore.  Instead, I’m thinking salads.  We don’t have a lot of local supplies, yet, but I am starting to see micro greens and pea shoots as a welcome garnish on dishes.  As we wander through this season of transition, I’ve tried the following recipes which use pretty seasonal ingredients but feel lighter in taste:

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 Tahini Beets

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Spring Green Risotto

(and, no photo but this dish was really delicious)

Crispy Coconut Kale with Roasted Salmon and Coconut Rice

With the holidays coming up, I think I may back-track a little on my (lighter) spring eating so I can try some new recipes and enjoy some old favorites.

Someone was thinking what I’ve been thinking – I’m definitely trying this recipe for Bacon Matzo Brei.  I don’t think The Professor will mind this addition to our matzo brei tradition.  I will also make Matzo Brittle (or matzo crack…).  There will be nothing light about these Passover dishes.

I haven’t figured out my Easter eating, but it will include eggs.  Perhaps I will try a twist on eggs benedict (here or here) or head back to spring eating with this delicious-sounding Asparagus with Eggs and Parmesan.

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If you’re not up to cooking, you could just eat somewhere in town.

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Poached eggs over avocado  at Bonfiglio & Bread – I still do not tire of this dish.

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Or perhaps a simple hard-boiled egg and gougere at Swallow?

Obviously I’m into eggs.

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There are some interesting goings-on over the next month, in case you get tired of gardening or eating:

Saturday April 12 – Chocolate tasting of (Hudson local) Christopher Norman Chocolates, and wine from Fairview Wines at Verdigris Tea & Chocolate Bar, located at Warren & 2nd in Hudson NY.  5pm – 7pm. Taste.

Saturday April 12 – Dine/Art Gallery Stroll on Warren Street below 3rd Street.  Wander and enjoy art and tastes.  5pm – 8pm.  Taste again.

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Saturday April 19 – ThinkFOOD Conference: Culture / Studies / Sourcing at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington MA.  9:30am – 3pm. Think.

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Saturday April 26 or May 3? – Opening of Hudson Valley Distillers.  Applejack and vodka and (eventually) more! Check it out on Route 9 just south of Clermont. Tasting room hours to be announced.  Thirst.

Saturday April 26 and Sunday April 27 – TAP New York, a craft beer and food festival happens at Hunter Mountain in the Catskills. 1pm – 5pm on Saturday and 12pm – 4pm on Sunday.  Thirst again.

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Saturday May 3 – 4th Annual Ramp Fest Hudson 2014 at Basilica Hudson.  12pm – 4pm.  Trample.

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It’s still raining.  I’m just going to keep repeating: April Shower = May Flowers, April Shower = May Flowers, April Shower = May Flowers…

how quickly things change

We had a beautiful full harvest moon on Wednesday.  Which means harvest (duh) and that means it’s fall.  I love this time of year!

I’m still busy eating salads with the amazing produce we have available at our market.  One day our salad was sliced heirloom tomatoes, sprinkled with a little salt and pepper and topped with a lovely burrata (from Vermont, and purchased at Samascott’s Garden Market).  Milky cheese and tomatoes – perfect on a hot sunny day.

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Have you tried the smoked trout available at the Hudson Farmers’ Market?
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I love it!  I’ve used it to make Smoked Trout dip which is rich and creamy and very more-ish.  Local Valatie gardener/man of taste Kevin Lee Jacobs from A Garden for the House suggests a similar sounding Smoked Trout on Toast.  Both of these dishes are great for a chilly evening.  But one of my favorite uses so far has been in a smoked trout salad.  It is simple, allowing all the ingredients to just taste delicious, using a recipe like this.

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As I do at this time every year, I am avoiding winter squashes and roasting roots and potatoes.  And I have yet to buy apples.  We have soooooo much time for that, and it’s right around the corner.  So eat your plums and nectarines and tomatoes before we bid adieu for another season.

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Are you going to Olanafest?  It’s happening tonight, September 21st from 5 – 7pm: a celebration of food, art and farming.  I think we are getting the schmancy kind of fancy up here, don’t you?

eat the farm

If you really want to taste farm to table, more than what is available at so many of the restaurants in Hudson,  you should look into Eat the Farm #2 next month.  It’s at the farm.  Chef Hugh Horner of Restaurant Helsinki cooks a meal entirely from the offerings of Holmquest Farms on Spook Rock Road.  The first one sold out in July; the October 10th happening will likely be the last for the season.  You can’t get more local than that.

But just when I think that there will be no more food events for the season in our area, along comes Basilica Hudson.

farm and fleaBasilica Farm & Flea is happening over Thanksgiving weekend, and they promise FOOD, vintage, art, design, culture.  I think this will be worth a look-see.

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Autumnal Equinox is tomorrow.  So, enough with the distractions – go back to your cooking and your gardening.  There is so much to do this time of year, and so much to eat!  Put away some ratatouille, and tomato sauce and maybe a fruit jam or two.  You’ll thank yourself later.

trying to unitask

I’m currently making my way through Michael Pollan’s latest book, Cooked, as he explores the 4 basic elements (fire, water, air, earth) that humans utilize when cooking in order to nourish themselves.  I find myself particularly inspired by something he says toward the end of the water section:

“…the opportunity to work with my hands – with all my senses, in fact – is always a welcome change of pace, whether in the kitchen or in the garden.  There’s something about such work that seems to alter the experience of time, helps me to reoccupy the present tense.  I don’t want you to get the idea it’s made a Buddhist of me, but in the kitchen, maybe a little bit.  When stirring the pot, just stir the pot…. Unitasking.”

How very Ram Dass.

But it spoke to me because my head was still spinning from yesterday’s conference call where I was trying to talk about the importance of social media to engage (my work) community, only to be told several times that this or that was against policy, and that I couldn’t use images or connect with certain people and there’s this policy, etc.  When I finally suggested that it would be more helpful to tell me what I could do, I got my own words spun back at me, but nothing more.  Essentially, I was speaking to people who do not exist in our current social society.

Which made this Dilbert cartoon that a colleague had given me several years ago resonate even more – even though my name isn’t Beth, and the person who kept telling me everything was against policy is named Beth…

I digress.

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2a8955900cca11e3855722000aa800e1_7I decided to practice being present by baking, which is always good for my soul.  I wanted to try a recipe for chocolate zucchini bread – as I’ve been intrigued by the combination since I found Clotilde and her blog, Chocolate & Zucchini.  Just try to look at her site and not get sucked in for hours dreaming of future meals…  But this recipe did not come from Clotilde but instead from (gasp) Better Homes & Gardens.  Yet another sign that I’m becoming old.

b029e4ce0ccc11e3a39822000a9e0344_7And so I measured and chopped and shredded and mixed.   Everything went according to plan (meaning, according to the recipe) and out of the oven came 3 gorgeous little loaves.  And then I went to melt the chocolate to drizzle on top of the loaves.  I was obviously no longer present, as I put chocolate in a pan, over high heat, and left the room.

I worked all afternoon to get the smell of burnt chocolate out of the house.

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Inspired by the idea of going to Hudson Food Studio tonight, but then too lazy to go, I decided it had to be summer rolls for dinner.

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they did not actually look this green in real life

I’ve decided the whole purpose of summer rolls is really just to serve as a conveyance for peanut sauce.  Yum. There are a million recipes out there (I seem to have half of them on one of my Pinterest boards) but I used this recipe as a loose (very loose) guideline.  I used tamari in my peanut sauce because that’s what I had, but I would suggest using a low sodium soy sauce instead.  I thought I wouldn’t be able to find rice paper in our little town, but Olde Hudson has that as well as a number of other Asian cooking necessities.  And you can find all the vegetables you need at the Hudson Farmers’ Market.  Or, you could just go to Hudson Food Studio and have a tasty meal prepared by someone else.

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I’m not sure that I’m feeling any more centered.  I may have to try more baking tomorrow.

catching up…

My brain has melted.

Or drowned – hasn’t it been a crazy hot/rainy summer?

That’s my only attempt at an excuse for not writing for so long.  Well, the brain has been fried by the heat of summer, and huge upcoming life changes and watching the veeeeeeeery slow progress as my house moves from a peely-paint house to a lovely crisp clean abode.  It’s such an improvement that my electrician says that it will raise the assessments for the  entire neighborhood.  Sorry neighbors!

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I intended to have a garden…  However, my harvest this year was garlic scapes.  And I cut those too late, leading to my second harvest, the tiniest heads of garlic I’ve ever seen.  I’ve got them curing in the basement, but I have a feeling I will be buying garlic from the farmers’ market…

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I’ve visited a couple of restaurants in the attempt to escape our very un-air-conditioned house.

I love going to Bonfiglio & Bread for mushroom toast or the poached egg bowl (how do you describe it?) for breakfast, and even on days where the breakfast chef isn’t there, the kouign-ammans are de-lish.  I’ll be there when they open up again on Saturday the 17th.  I hope they’re poaching eggs that day.  Relish Hudson is also a great option for breakfast – really nice egg sandwich variations.  And I love sitting in the window on a quiet morning, gazing at our cute Amtrak station.

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The Hudson Food Studio is our newest option for dinner and really helps round out the cuisine available in town.  Sam Pratt wrote a nice review of the place here.

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Many days I have no desire to prepare food (what?) and if it’s super hot, it’s ice cream for dinner.  Lick has saved me from a melt-down more than once.  One of my new favorite desserts does take some cooking (baking the crust and making the blueberry sauce on the stove top – best done earlier in the day), but this blueberry ice-cream pie will make anyone happy.  I found the recipe while searching for gluten-free recipes when a dear friend was coming to visit, and I halved the sugar called for in the recipe to make it more friendly for those who watch their sugar intake.  It’s just delicious.  And who doesn’t need ice-cream pie?

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For the most part I’ve been enjoying the bounty of our season and very often don’t do more than wash, peel (if necessary), cut up and eat.  This weekend, however, I found myself with a load of blueberries along with a half of a cantaloupe, and then I bought a couple of pounds of doughnut peaches and plums.  Too much goodness!  I solved this (partially) by attempting a recipe for blueberry refrigerator jam - success!  If you’re not into canning, and I’m not, this is a jam for you.  So is David Lebovitz’s No Recipe Cherry Jam which I’ve made numerous times.  And I haven’t tried this recipe yet but it looks just as easy:  Triple berry quick jam.

Dinner the past two nights has been corn on the cob, just barely boiled, plus some of the above-mentioned fruit.  Don’t you love corn season?  Maybe I’ll have the desire to cook something a little more elaborate next weekend – but I’m not complaining if I have to eat more corn.

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Coming up!

Copake Falls Day on Saturday August 17th – I’m very excited about this as Margaret from A Way to Garden opens up her garden for Garden Conservancy Open Day and I love to wander around and imagine it’s my yard.  Maybe next year.   The Fabulous Beekman Boys will be there for a lecture/breakfast/book signing. Copake Falls, just this side of the border with Massachusetts.

Dutchess County Fair -  August 20th – August 25th – rides! fried foods!  Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck

Columbia County Fair – August 28 – September 2 – a classic county fair.  Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham

Taste of Hudson on Saturday September 7th, 11am – 2pm – don’t be silly and think you’ll get any food at 2pm.  Think early, people!  Warren Street below 3rd Street.

Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest on Saturday September 7th and Sunday September 8th – one of the biggest area extravaganzas.  Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck

reading and eating

Officially it’s Spring but it’s still cold outside, and I haven’t seen the self-serve spinach stand pop up at Eger Brothers (corner of 23rd/9/10 just outside of Hudson).  However, it feels like things are really heating up, at least online.

This weekend the thing to do is go to Verdigris Tea & Chocolate Bar for their latest chocolate tasting – and this is a chocolate and chocolate tea tasting!  Hmmm….  curious.  The tasting is Saturday 3/30 at 5pm at Verdigris, 135 Warren Street.  Call ahead, just in case – I would hate to steer you wrong.

If you haven’t yet bought your Easter candy, head now to Vasilow’s Confectionery, who recently had a nice feature in the Daily Freeman.  I’m always torn between the malt balls and the great variety of licorice…

Haven’t you been curious about Verdigris’ former space at South 3rd?  Michael Davis of 3FortySeven gives us the scoop on what’s been happening inside the future Fish & Game.

And while Zak Pelaccio and Lady Jayne are working out the details on Fish & Game restaurant, he wrote a great guide to eating and doing in Hudson.

The Crimson Sparrow has gotten a couple of great mentions lately, in the Times Union and in Chronogram.  And they’re involved in a friendly face-off with Berkshire chefs in the ChefX Dinners, happening April 7 at Crimson Sparrow with Berkshire chefs, and April 29 in Great Barrington featuring Hudson restuarants The Crimson Sparrow, Helsinki Hudson, Grazin Diner, Swoon Kitchenbar and Local 111 (from Philmont and YAY for a female chef!!!).

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I’ve eaten my matzo brie and matzo crack, and it’s about time for hot cross buns and way too much Easter candy…

Maple Weekend(s) 2013

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Woo-hoo!  It’s maple syrup season again and it is time to stock up on my year’s supply of maple syrup…

We have not one, but TWO weekends to visit area sugar shacks and buy way too much maple syrup.  As the owner of a gallon, I can talk.  Get into your car either March 16-17 or March 23-24 and head out to learn more about maple syrup production and buy direct from the producer.  Information can be found about the NY State Maple Weekends online and on Facebook, but you’ll have to dig a bit to find producers in Columbia County.  They’re here, just not on the list.

Be sure to check out Black Berry Hill Farm out in the Bell’s Pond area (call first please!).

And the Register-Star recently highlighted the production by a Hudson Farmers’ Market favorite Farm at Millers Crossing.

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And then what?

Sometimes I boil a couple of brand-new empty bottles (I like ones that looks like flasks) and then fill them with liquid love to share.  People in warmer climes are appreciative.  However, you know me – I like to eat.

I can recommend the healthy Maple Scones for breakfast or tea.  They’re almost savory, and a co-worker suggested that a glass of bourbon might complement them well.  My thoughts exactly.  I can also strongly recommend this Maple Parsnip cake.  You need to buy almond meal, but between that and the parnips practically melting in the cake, it’s almost better than carrot cake – no cream cheese frosting required.  I served it with whipped cream slightly sweetened with a bit of maple syrup.  Of course.  Olive Oil granola is also a great favorite, as the sweetener is – you guessed it – maple syrup.

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You know what else goes with maple syrup?  BACON.  Have you tried the bacon from Swoon available at Lick the Market?  Good grief, get yourself down there (253 Warren, Friday/Saturday/Sunday) and buy some Swoon Bacon.  Then cook all of it.  And eat.  Don’t even try to save any for later… (Er, no picture available because we ate it all).

you cannot escape the garlic

…nor should you.

While it is good for chasing the vampires away, garlic is also great for flavor to most savory recipes.    I finally discovered that it also incredibly easy to grow!  Now is a very good time to plant your garlic so it can overwinter in the ground.  I try to plant at least a dozen cloves of my garlic from a previous year, pointy side up, at the end of the garden that would otherwise get a couple of marigolds.  I should really plant more.  If you have any questions about planting or harvesting garlic, consult A Way to Garden.  Margaret, through her website, has given me much confidence on what to do in my garden, and this is where I learned the quite simple task of planting my own (hard neck) garlic.  The added bonus is that you harvest garlic scapes earlier in the spring as well as the heads of garlic in the summer.

Once you’ve finished planting next year’s garlic, head over to the 1st Annual Garlic Day at the Hudson Farmers’ Market, happening this Saturday, October 13 (9am – 1pm).  This is great for those of us who were too lazy to drive over to the festival in Saugerties earlier this year…

So what do you do with your garlic?  I’m still trying to take advantage of the bounty of our farmers’ market before we’re limited to winter squashes and potatoes (and I am NOT complaining about having to eat mashed potatoes and butternut squash soup).  (An aside – Autumn is just flying by this year – wasn’t it just Labor Day???)  So what is my favorite dish this time of year?  Ratatouille!  It’s a very forgiving dish, so if you can’t find zucchini or don’t like peppers, just add more of the other vegetables.  It’s lovely served on couscous, or with good crusty bread.  My favorite recipe is here.

Or perhaps you just need a simple, comforting bowl of garlic soup.  This recipe has always captured my imagination.

Need more garlic ideas?  Our local Chef’s Consortium did a post on garlic recipes from Chef Ric Orlando.  Mercedes at Hudson Farm Box recently sent a recipe for garlicky broccoli rabe and pasta with her weekly email.  Try all the garlic recipes in Gourmet and let me know once you’ve gotten through them…  Good grief, you’d better stock up on garlic.

And if you don’t feel like cooking, take a head of garlic, cut off the top and drizzle with olive oil.  Wrap in foil and roast in the oven until soft and lovely.  Smear on crusty bread.  Drink wine.

Doesn’t that sound better than wearing a garlic necklace?

vegetables of the moment, green and red

I am gorging myself at the moment on spinach and rhubarb.  The Eger Bros. farmstand at the corner of 9 and 23 and 31 always starts off the season with self-service spinach.  It’s the honor system so bring singles and of course, honesty.

I haven’t felt the need to get particularly creative with the bags of spinach I’ve been buying each week.  Nothing makes me happier than to saute a huge pile of spinach with a load of garlic and heap on top of creamy cheesy polenta (Wild Hive polenta, ideally).  I’ve also made enchiladas with lots of cooked down spinach (if you try the enchiladas with raw spinach they will get very watery.  Trust me.).  I needed something different today and since I started my long weekend early (yea!), I had the time to cook lunch.

We had spinach and eggs and some random cheeses.  Frittata!   I dug around until I found this recipe for Spinach Frittata (for 1) by Martha Stewart.  Unlike many of her baking recipes, it does not require an assistant.  And, I love that the recipe is for one – it’s so difficult to find those and it’s easy enough to double if there are two of you.  This recipe is easy and quick and it was delicious.  A keeper.

*Remember to always clean your spinach in at least two changes of water (float the spinach in a huge bowl of water for 10-15 minutes, lift the spinach out and rest it in a colander, dump the water (and dirt), rinse the bowl and repeat).

The other vegetable I’ve been a bit obsessed with lately is rhubarb.  Why?  Because it makes some awesome desserts.

Every year I make a couple of jars of rhubarb compote.  A large spoonful or so is great on vanilla ice cream or plain greek yogurt.  A couple of weekends ago I was feeling rather British so I made a Rhubarb Fool.  Whip up some cream into stiff peaks and add rhubarb compote to taste.  It’s a fabulous excuse to eat a bowl of whipped cream (but call it a light, seasonal dessert).

Rhubarb Compote (I think this is from City Cook, several years ago…)

6 cups rhubarb cut into ½-inch slices
1 ½ cup sugar (I usually use less)
Optional: 1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest

  1. In a non-reactive, large saucepan off the heat, combine the rhubarb pieces with the sugar and toss or stir to combine. While still off the heat, let the pan sit for about 15 minutes until the rhubarb begins to throw off liquid. Stir occasionally to help the rhubarb become wet.
  2. When the pan has developed some sugary rhubarb juice, place the pan on a medium-low heat and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the fruit becomes soft and falls apart, forming a jam-like consistency. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and transfer the compote to a bowl. Let cool.

The compote can be used either warm or cold. It can be made in advance and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days (note: I keep mine longer and it hasn’t killed me yet).

Tip: For a more complex flavor you can add a tablespoon or two of ruby port or two teaspoons of an orange-flavored liquor such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau. Use less liqueur than port because the flavors are more concentrated.

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I also tried Rhubarb Sorbet this year – but the verdict is still out.  The suggestion in the recipe is to add corn syrup to give a creamier texture, but it was a really odd texture.  Try it with less or leave out the corn syrup altogether.

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Finally, while I’m not the hugest coffee cake fan, I will eat this one any day of the week. The Rhubarb ‘Big Crumb’ Coffee Cake is just that good.  Rhubarb + crumb = yum.

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Spinach we’ll have for awhile but the Hudson Farmers’ market newsletter tells us that we won’t have rhubarb much longer.  I may follow their suggestion and freeze some for later!

I love pesto, in so many ways

According to Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking under “Sauces thickened with plant particles”,

“Pesto takes its name from the same root that gives us pestle, and the basil leaves and garlic were traditionally ground with a pestle and mortar.  Because this takes some time and effort, modern cooks usually prepare pesto in a blender or food processor.  The choice of appliance and how it’s used influence both consistency and flavor.  The crushing and shearing action of the pestle, the shearing action of the blender, and the slicing action of the processor all produce different proportions of intact and broken cells.  The more thor0ughly the cells are broken, the more their contents are exposed to each other and to the air, and the more their flavor evolves.  A course pesto will have a flavor most like the flavor of fresh leaves.”

Well then.  I’ll have to find the time some day to test this out…  In the meantime, pesto isn’t just about basil anymore, and it’s hard for me to choose favorites.  Here are some pesto possibilities:

Basil pesto is traditional, of course, but we’re not in basil season yet and who knows where the basil from the grocery store comes from.  Wait until we have plentiful basil at the farmers’ market, unless you’re growing it yourself.

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Leek pesto, a la Mark Bittman.  This is the newest addition to my repertoire.  It’s leek season and in searching for a new recipe I found this in one of my several Bittman cookbooks.  I love this man’s sensibilities with ingredients.  Try leek pesto over pasta – it’s a lovely creamy sauce, with no cream!

Pasta with Rich Leek “Pesto” - from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 or 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • About 1 1/2 pounds leeks (2 or 3 large), trimmed, well rinsed, and chopped
  • salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves (don’t skip these – they bring a nice green color)
  • black pepper
  • 8 ounces any pasta (preferably whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Put the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  When it’s hot, add the garlic and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 20 – 30 minutes

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it.  Transfer the leeks to a blender or food processor with the egg, parsley, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container if necessary.  Return the puree to the skillet, off heat.

Cook the pasta in the boiling water until it’s tender but not mushy, then drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.  Turn the heat under the leek mixture to medium, add about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid to thin the pesto, and toss in the pasta along with the cheese.  Add more liquid as desired and toss.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, then serve.

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(last year's scapes)

Garlic scape season is coming up quickly and there is no better way to use up those gorgeous scapes than with a garlic scape pesto.  Make a lot (A LOT), quite inexpensively, and freeze for use in the months to come (great in the winter!).  It’s one of our favorite toppings for grilled pizza.

Garlic Scape Pesto (originally from the Washington Post)

  • 1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes), top flowery part removed, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ¼-1/2 cup grated parmigiano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste

Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add parmigiano to taste; add salt and pepper. Makes about 6 ounces of pesto. Keeps for up to one week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

To freeze, I omit the cheese (until it comes back out of the freezer), and scoop into several small ziplock bags, squeeze out the air, and freeze flat on a baking sheet.  Once frozen, I stack up the frozen bags in a corner of the freezer – green goodness for later!

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There’s Green Olive Pesto.  Kinda like green olive tapenade. Remember when it was sold at the flower stand at the Hudson farmers’ market a couple of years ago?  I thought it was yummy, and made a version of it several times using this recipe.

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Ramp pesto?  It’s ramp season – but I can hardly bring myself to pulverize precious ramps into Ramp Pesto.  I could be very wrong about this.  At the moment I’m storing up my ramp eating for next weekend.

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Or, there’s kale pesto – rather life changing.

I am not a fan of kale.  Not sauteed, not baked into kale chips (faux chips), not surrounded by creamy mashed potatoes.  And then I met Oliva.  You’ll notice that the Lacinato Kale Pesto container above is empty.  I bought a couple at the Hudson farmers’ market last weekend (my version of livin’ large) and my OH was appalled to find that I gave one container to a favored co-worker.  Who ate two-thirds of it in one sitting, on crackers but mostly straight from the fork.  I’m sure this is good on pasta, but it hasn’t made it that far yet.

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These are my favorites – and they all seem to be green.  What are yours?

irish soda bread

There are a million recipes floating around this week, all with Guinness or corned beef.  While I definitely want to make Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness cake (here’s the original UK version) – because who wouldn’t? – I’m going simple this St. Patrick’s Day.  I’m making Irish Soda Bread.  Simple, fast, makes great toast.

Start with good wheat flour:

Look at how this whole wheat bread flour from Wild Hive Farm compares to unbleached all-purpose flour (on the right):

Whisk in baking soda and salt.  Add buttermilk:

Mix together, shape on a well-floured board, then transfer to a floured baking sheet.  You can find this recipe for whole wheat Irish Soda Bread on Eating Well.

Make the bread today and have fabulous toast tomorrow.  Enjoy!

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