Salsa Verde (...y Rojo)

I LOVE tomatillos, and we received some in our Farm Share over the summer, but unfortunately in the middle of packing so I couldn't dedicate the cooking resources (spices and pots packed!) to make my favorite salsa verde. Instead I briefly simmered tomatillos with a couple red tomatoes and a red pepper in a pot to create an on-the-go salsa.  It was a good accompaniment to my dinner of callaloo, homemade tortillas, and eggs (can you tell we were using whatever was left in our fridge?)  A random dinner, to say the least; though it actually reminded me a lot of what my sister and I cooked a few times in her apartment in Jamaica (she was there for 2 years with Peace Corps).  I even threw on some Jamaican hot sauce she sent us.  With no AC in late August, I could close my eyes and feel like I was eating dinner with her in Jamaica.

Anyway, I did want to pass along a really great salsa verde recipe, though it's not what is depicted in the picture above.  Tomatillos are such fun little vegetables and salsa verde is just delicious.  This recipe is super easy to prepare and requires no cooking, but you can boil or roast your tomatillos to soften them (though not necessary).  I'm also a sucker for fresh lime and cumin, which I would add at the end of the preparation to taste.  If you're an onion fan, that would make a great addition to the recipe, too.  Enjoy!

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa
(From Gourmet)

1/2 lb small fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 large garlic clove
1 tbs. chopped fresh serrano chile with seeds, or to taste
2 tbs. chopped cilantro
2 tbs. water

Coarsely chop tomatillos, then purée with remaining salsa ingredients and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth.

8/25 Farm Share Arrival

On August 25, we received the following produce in our Farm Share box:

Basil, beets, salad greens (I think this bag was arugula), a baby watermelon (sugar baby), cucumber, 2 tomatoes, callaloo, and a green pepper.  

The watermelon was delicious, that thing was gone in 1 day!


Wheat Berry Salad with Currants - Update

Ages ago, I said I would post pictures of the Wheat Berry Salad once I prepared it.  Well, a long time later, here goes!

Aren't currants crazy?  They look like fish eggs; I had never cooked with them before.

The finished product.  You can find the recipe for this dish here.  It was a great summer dish, and it would also be great in the fall with some dried cranberries and apples!

Eggplant Caponata

My husband and I have realized we really don't enjoy eggplant.  The only time we did like a dish I prepared with eggplant was the Grilled Eggplant Stacks with Tomato and Feta; which I posted previously.  Sigh!  Despite our dislike, we keep giving it a shot, though lately I've given some eggplant away to people who (I hope!) enjoy it, which is as it should be.

Below is a recipe I tried in an effort to use a lot of eggplant we had.  I've had a dish very similar to this prepared by a friend who is a chef in Washington, D.C. and I couldn't eat enough of it.  However, I missed something when I made this--I think I should have added a little more sugar--so I was a little disappointed.  With some tweaking and practice, though, I think this would be really good.  The recipe itself got great reviews on Epicurious.com, so it may be user error (MY user error!).

The eggplant, finely chopped.

We also used Farm Share onion, celery, and parsley in this recipe!

The finished product.

Eggplant Caponata
From Gourmet, via Epicurious.com

1/4 c. olive oil
3 1/2 c. 1/4-inch dice unpeeled eggplant (about 1 1/4 lbs)
3/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/3 c. finely chopped celery
1/3 c. chopped pitted green olives
3 tbs. chopped drained bottled capers
1/4 c. red-wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbs. sugar, or to taste
3 tbs. golden raisins
3 tbs. pine nuts, toasted lightly
3 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch diced (about 1 c.)
1/4 c. finely chopped flat-leafed parsley leaves

In a heavy skillet heat 2 tbs. of the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking.  In it cook the eggplant, stirring, for 3-5 minutes, or until it is tender, and transfer it to a bowl.  To the skillet add the remaining 2 tbs. oil and cook the onion and celery over moderate heat, stirring, for 5 minutes.  Add the olives, the capers, the vinegar, the sugar, the raisins, the pine nuts, and the tomatoes and cook the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is cooked through and the celery is tender.  Transfer to the bowl.  Stir in the parsley and let the caponata cool.  Chill, covered, overnight.  Season the caponata with salt and pepper.

Serve on toasted baguette slices.

Pizza with Farm Share Tomatoes and Pesto (Pesto recipe!)

One of our favorite things to do with Farm Share produce is whip up a homemade pizza.  This margherita pizza, with tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, olive oil and pesto was made with Farm Share tomatoes and basil.  Fresh basil makes the best pesto! 

Basil Pesto (this makes a large quantity, so portion accordingly!)

4 garlic cloves
3/4 c. pine nuts (1/4 lb)
2 c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 c. grated Pecorino Romano
3 c. packed Italian basil leaves
1 1/2 c. packed bush basil leaves
1 c. loosely packed fresh lemon basil leaves
2 c. packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
5 tbs. olive oil
* Who has this variety of basil on-hand?!  We used one variety--what we received from our Farm Share--and still very tasty!

Pulse garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, then add nuts, cheeses, a large handful of herbs, and 1 tsp. pepper and process until chopped.  Add remaining herbs one handful at a time, pulsing after each addition, until finely chopped.  With motor running, add oil and blend until incorporated.

8/18 Farm Share Arrival

I am WAY behind on posting and I apologize that the next several posts will be retrospective updates.  My husband and I, after a busy summer of weddings and out of town trips, unexpectedly found out we had to move.  Apartment searching consumed all free time; which meant blog posting and recipe-searching was somewhat put on hold.  We are now settled into a new apartment, and I finally have some semblance of a regular schedule and have just this week gotten back to some cooking!  In the next couple weeks I will update the blog more, but I'm also winding things down on the blog permanently, I think.  More to come on that later.  On to the point of the blog, the Farm Share.

This Farm Share arrival dates back to mid-August.

In this week's share, we received three Japanese eggplant, two green bell peppers, three tomatoes, two lemon cucumbers, a huge bag of green beans, a cantaloupe, collard greens, and an avocado.

I hope you've enjoyed several weeks of happy (healthy) eating!