Dill, Beet, and Potato Salad

7 07 2011

A few weeks ago at a work potluck, my (Steph’s) office mate brought in a really tasty potato salad with beets and dill. She sent me her recipe, and thanks to a few CSA deliveries, I had most of the ingredients I needed! So, in a effort to clear out as many perishables as I could before my trip to Florida, I had the perfect opportunity to make this tasty salad. I modified her recipe slightly, using the ingredients I had on hand. I hope you can enjoy this yummy salad too!

Ingredients:

5-6 small red potatoes, chopped

1 large beet

handful of baby carrots, sliced (or 2 small carrots, sliced)

½  small onion, finely chopped

2 green onions, chopped

1 can sweet peas

3 dill pickles (more or less, to your liking)

1/3 cup chopped fresh dill

juice of 1 lemon

olive oil

salt and pepper

How to:

Preheat the oven to 375. Wrap the beet in a piece of foil and roast in the oven for about an hour.

While the beet is roasting, boil the potatoes and carrots. Be sure not to over cook, or they’ll get mushy!

Let all vegetables cool completely. Peel the beet, and roughly chop it into bite-sized pieces.

In a bowl, add the onion, green onions, peas, pickles, and dill. Stir in the potatoes, beet and carrots. Dress with the juice of one lemon and a drizzle of olive oil. Salt and pepper to your taste.

Note: You can also add some shredded cabbage to the salad, but I opted not to include it this time.

Question of the day: Do you like potato salad? What kind is your favorite?





Garlic Scape Pesto and Portobello Burger for One

9 06 2011

One thing I (Steph) love about having a CSA share with Lancaster Farm Fresh Co Op is that I get to experiment with some unfamiliar vegetables! Well folks this week, I had these in my box:

They look a lot like scallions, which I’ve had in my box almost every week since the season started (I need suggestions for using them. Anyone?), but they’re not scallions.

They’re Garlic Scapes.

I remember seeing a bunch of recipes using scapes last season on Tastespotting, but I never purchased any at the farmer’s market. I wasn’t all that daring back then I guess! So, since I was “stuck” with them (not really, I was glad to see them in my box!), I did a little searching and decided that I would make pesto, which seems to be one of the most common uses for the scapes.

So, loosely following this recipe, I threw the scapes, walnuts, parmesean cheese, and olive oil into the blender and WHIRRED away!

I did a lot of taste testing along the way until I was satisfied with my pesto:

It was a beautiful shade of green and had a powerful, but not overly garlicly taste, and I knew it would be the perfect sauce for pasta or make a yummy spread for something!

***

I had been eyeing Jessica’s piled portobello gouda burger with roasted garlic for a few weeks now (doesn’t the name of it activate your salivatory glands?), so when I got these in my share last week:

I had big plans to replicate her recipe…but, as the wheels in my head started spinning, a ‘bello burger + pesto seemed to call my name…

Stephanie…make pesto with the scapes…Stephanie…it will be delicious on a portobello burger…Stephanie…pair it with goat cheese…Stephanie…roasted red peppers and balsamic onions would make a great topping…

So, the recipe started formulating in my head, and I got to work in the kitchen (Note: I don’t always hear voices telling me what to make).

SUCCESS! The voices guided me in the right direction! 🙂

When I was done assembling my burger, I moved my plate closer to the window in my living room, where the lighting is better for photography. I snapped a few shots, anxiously awaiting my first bite. After my last shot, I dug in. I couldn’t even wait to bring it back up to the counter! I sat on the floor and ate it right there in front of my picture taking station. Um yes. I did do that. It was that good.

It was probably a good thing that my boyfriend wasn’t around, because the pesto was GARLICKY! Hence, “burger for one” 🙂 But the flavors of the burger blended so well together! The creamy goat cheese softened the bite of the pesto, and the red pepper was a perfect complement. And the balsamic onions? Swoon. 🙂

Ok, maybe I did put a little too much goat cheese on it…but is there really such a thing as “too much goat cheese”?

I think I have a new favorite burger! And you know what else? I got some more ‘bellos in my box last night! SCORE!

Portobello Burger with Garlic Scape Pesto

Ingredients:

Garlic Scape Pesto (see above)

Roasted Red Peppers (I used canned, but you can roast your own)

Goat Cheese

Portobello Mushroom Caps (however many you are making)

Small Red Onion

Balsamic Vinegar

Olive Oil

Salt + Pepper

How to:

Marinate the mushroom cap(s) in some balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. I only marinated for 10-15 minutes.

While marinating, saute onions in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar over medium heat. I lowered the heat for a little to caramelize them some, before returning the heat back up to medium. I wanted them cooked through, but not too caramelized and mushy.  (Side note- I’m not an expert by any means when it comes to cooking onions)

When the onions are ready, remove them from the pan, and place the mushroom cap in. Cook for several minutes on each side, until heated through. While the ‘bello is cooking, toast an English muffin and pat dry a roasted red pepper.

When your mushroom is done, assemble the burger: Spread the pesto on one of the English muffin. Layer on a red pepper. Place the ‘bello on the other half of the English muffin. Add some goat cheese. Then the onions. Cover. Devour.

Note: You can make this for more than one easily; there’s plenty of pesto! Just make sure you have enough red pepper, goat cheese, and sauteed onions.

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite burger?





Pink Celery

19 05 2011

Ok, so it’s not REALLY Pink Celery, its RHUBARB!

Before I go on about rhubarb, I just wanted to let you know this is Steph writing right now. Normally, today would be a post by Chloe, but she and I swapped days because she has a very special post planned for tomorrow 🙂 Come back then to check it out!

So, I got some rhubarb in my first CSA box, and I wasn’t exactly sure what to do with it. I did know that my dad LOVES it, and so I gave him a call just to rub it in that I had some fresh, organic rhubarb. I think he was a little jealous 🙂

Anyhow, this early in the growing season, there isn’t a ton of fruit growing; in general, spring is all about the leaves! Check out what was in the box last night:

Salad anyone?

So I had a bunch of rhubarb and I needed to figure out what to do with it. I knew that people typically make rhubarb pies or a strawberry rhubarb topping for ice cream, but I wasn’t really in the pie making mood. I did a little search on Tastespotting, but nothing was striking my fancy.

I was sort of in a bread-making mood, and remembered seeing a “template” for quick breads in my Food Network Magazine. One of the things that restrains me from experimenting more with my baking is not knowing the right proportions of flour, egg, baking powder/soda, etc. to use. Anyone else feel that way? So, this template is exactly what I needed to get started! To help me a little more, I also pulled out my Flavor Bible to get some idea for other flavors that would pair well with the the rhubarb.

After a little planning and a few swaps in the recipe template, the result was Strawberry-Orange Rhubarb Bread!

I think the bread turned out quite tasty! It was really orange-y; reminded me a little of a cranberry-orange bread. If I get some more rhubarb, I will be making this bread again!

I found my Flavor Bible to really help me expand upon the quick bread recipe. Two decisions that I made while planning the bread was to:

1) Cook the rhubarb down with some orange juice instead of water. The Flavor Bible mentioned that blood orange pairs well with rhubarb. I figured the OJ I had in the fridge would do just fine. The recipe template also called for orange zest, so I figured that cooking the rhubarb in OJ would bring the recipe together. I think I may have made it a little too orange-y, so next time I may not put in the zest when I cooked down the rhubarb.

2) Use brown sugar instead of white sugar. The Flavor Bible also said that caramelized sugar pairs well with rhubarb. So, I figured brown sugar was sort of like caramelized sugar…sort of? I would consider cutting the amount of sugar in half next time, and using caramel too. But, the brown sugar worked out perfectly!

So, here’s what I did! I hope you can enjoy a loaf of this bread too!

Ingredients:

~1 cup of cooked rhubarb with orange (see below)

~8-10 roughly chopped strawberries

1 1/4 cup flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 eggs

1/2 melted butter (cooled)

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp orange zest

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs, butter, yogurt, vanilla, and orange zest. Stir in the cooled rhubarb mixture.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Fold the chopped strawberries into the bread batter.

Pour the batter into your bread pan and cook for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Let the loaf cool completely before cutting.

Preparing the rhubarb:

Chop up the rhubarb into small pieces, and put it in a pot.

Pour a little bit of OJ on top, just enough liquid to barely start to cover the rhubarb. I put in some sugar and some orange zest too.

Cover the pot, and boil away on low. The rhubarb will soften, and eventually it will almost look like baby food (I know, not the most appealing description of it!) Let it cool while you work on prepping the bread.

Question of the day: What tools do you use to get creative in the kitchen?



Recipe: