May: Thai Sweet Potato Curry

We did an event recently where we did this curry as the vegetarian option. Everyone loved it. It has a hot element so don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

Ingredients:

2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 shallots, sliced
1 whole Thai red pepper, do not cut unless you really like HOT
Lemon Grass, half a stem, cut into thirds
Carrots, half a pound, peeled and sliced
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into pieces
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut up
3 cups of baby spinach
14 ounce can of coconut milk
half a cup of vegetable stock
1 – 2 tablespoon Thai curry paste, red or green, depending on your heat index
2 T. oil
1 T coconut oil
half a cup of chopped roasted peanuts
half a cup of chopped cilantro
1 lime cut into small pieces to squeeze

Heat both oils, add shallots, onion and garlic, saute. Add the coconut milk, Thai curry paste and vegetable stock. Stir until everything has mixed together. You may need more stock after adding the vegetables.

Add sweet potato, squash and carrots. Add thai chili and lemon grass.

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until all of the vegetables are soft.

Add the spinach at the end and cook until wilted.

Serve over brown or basmati rice. Garnish with peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges.

Serves 6 – 10.

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Grilled Mexican Corn Salad

This summer salad makes great use of the bounty of sweet corn this time of year, and tastes great with most summer foods including grilled meat.

Ingredients:

10 ears of corn, peeled

1 red pepper, small dice
.5 cup of mayonnaise
1 lime: zest and 3 T. juice
1 lemon, .5 tsp zest and 1 T. juice
3 T olive oil
.5 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1/8 tsp cayenne
4 oz. Queso Fresco cheese, small dice
4 oz Manchego cheese, small dice
.5 cup chopped Italian Parsley
.5 cup chopped Cilantro

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add corn , remove from the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.

In a bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lime and lemon zests and juice, 1 T olive oil, mustard, cayenne. Season with salt.

Heat the grill. Brush the corn with the 2 T. of olive oil. Grill over high heat until charred on all sides. Transfer to a plate and cool. Cut the kernels from the corn.

Toss the corn with the red pepper and the sauce. Add the two cheeses, parsley and cilantro. Toss again. Season with salt and pepper.

10 – 15 servings

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Beet Hummus With Salad

Beet Hummus has come into its own in the last few years. I first ran into it in New Zealand. I had one in Seattle last week that was different than most so I thought I would play with it. It had walnuts and a dash of hot sauce. For those of you not from Vermont you will note that I used “Feel the Bern”. It was a sauce put out for Bernie Sanders, along with soaps, socks etc. during the 2016 campaign. Hummus is usually served with pita or vegetables as a dip. So enjoy it either way for our November Recipe of the Month.

Ingredients:

Hummus

3/4 lbs of beets, boiled and peeled
2 cloves of garlic
rind of one lemon
3 T  fresh lemon juice from that lemon
2 T. toasted walnuts  ( extra for salad )
1 T. olive oil
3 T tahini
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
dash of hot sauce ( I used “Feel the Bern” )
salt and pepper

Salad

1 large beet
2 carrots
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper
Extra walnuts for garnish

Make the hummus: Boil and peel the beets. Toast the walnuts. Put everything into a Cuisinart bowl and puree to correct consistency. Feel free to play with amounts for your own taste.

Makes 2 cups

Make the salad:  Grate 2 carrots. Grate one beet, cooked or raw. Toss in a bowl with one T. olive oil, salt and pepper. Plate. Place a large tablespoon of Hummus on top, garnish with extra walnuts. This made 3 – 4 servings.

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Shaved Vegetable Salad

A client asked me to make a shaved asparagus salad for her dinner party this summer. I thought that it might be more interesting with several vegetables, so here’s my updated version.

Shaved Vegetable SaladIngredients:

1 lb asparagus
1 lb zucchini
1 lb yellow summer squash
1 lb haricot vert, green beans
1 bunch radish
4 tablespoon chopped dill
4 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
4 tablespoon chopped chives
1 red onion sliced very thinly

Marinade:

juice of 2 lemons
.5 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Garnish:

.5 cup pumpkin seeds, salted
saved asparagus tips

Wash and dry asparagus, beans, zucchini, and summer squash. Cut off the hard end of the asparagus and cut the tips to save as garnish. Using a vegetable peeler shave all of these vegetables to thin strips. Thinly slice the radish and red onion.

Marinade: Mix the lemon juice and oil with salt and pepper.

Save some of the marinade for the asparagus tips. Marinate the tips and save in a small container. Toss the rest of the vegetables in a bowl with the herbs, lemon, and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit overnight to cook the vegetables. Know that the salad will reduce by half as it wilts.

Just before serving garnish with the asparagus tips and the pumpkin seeds.

Serves 12

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Italian Flat Bean Stew

Italian Flat Bean StewI love these Italian beans. I’m always excited when I see them at my local farm stand. They need to cook for a while so here’s a great side dish using the bounty of the season.  This freezes, so make a big batch and use it later over polenta or with pasta. Great with a poached egg on top. Also a great layer in a vegetable lasagna with a bechamel. Continue reading Italian Flat Bean Stew

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Mushroom Stew or Bourguignon

We are all familiar with Beef Bourguignon. I saw an article that suggested a  vegetarian version with mushrooms so here’s my take on it. As with all stews and soups it’s much better made a day ahead. To make this vegan substitute oil for the butter.

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs of mushrooms- a combination of the following

  • 8 oz baby bella
  • 8 oz. white button
  • 4 oz shitake
  • 4 oz assorted or whatever you can fine.

1 large onion quartered and sliced
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
1 leek
1 carrot
5 Tb butter, divided
4 Tb olive oil, divided
2 cups of mushroom broth
1 cup of red wine
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tb Brandy or Cognac

Clean and slice the mushrooms. Heat 3 Tb butter and 2 Tb oil in a dutch oven on top of the stove. Sauté the mushroom in this until browned.  Remove from the pan.

Slice and dice the remaining vegetables — onion, leek, carrot, peppers

Add the remaining 2 Tb butter and 2 Tb oil to the pan. Sauté the onions and leek until starting to turn golden Add the peppers and carrot. Stir until coated.

Return the mushrooms to the pot. Add the broth, red wine, and thyme. Make certain that all the vegetables are covered. Cook for an hour, covered. Add liquid if necessary. When almost done add the Brandy, salt and pepper. Let sit overnight.

Serve over polenta or egg noodles.

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Marinated Tofu With Sautéed Chinese/Napa Cabbage

A unique vegetarian dish for early spring.

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

1 Lb Firm Tofu
Sesame Seeds

Marinade:

2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbs white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 Tbs honey
1 heaping tsp medium-hot Korean Gochujang paste

Cabbage:

2 lb Chinese/Napa Cabbage, sliced thinly
2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 Tbs peanut oil ( or you could use all vegetable oil)
4 large cloves of garlic diced
1 large thumbs worth of Fresh Ginger. Peeled and chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
2 Tbs Mirin
1/4 cup water
2 Tbs Sesame Oil
1 Tbs soy sauce
2 tsp Oyster Sauce
Sesame seeds and Fresh Coriander for garnish

TOFU: Slice tofu into 8 pieces. Mix all of the Tofu marinade ingredients. These can be kept bottled in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. There is more than enough for this recipe so save it to use later on Chicken.

When ready to use place the marinade in a pyrex pan. Lay tofu slices on top. Turn to coat and let marinate for 30 – 60 minutes at room temp. Drain. When ready fry or grill in a pan.

CABBAGE:  Heat oils in a deep frying pan. Add the grated garlic, ginger and ground coriander and sauce for 20 seconds or just until the garlic starts to brown. Add the sliced cabbage and stir to coat and mix. Cook until the cabbage just starts to wilt.

Add the Mirin, Water, Soy Sauce, Sesame oil and Oyster Sauce and let cook another minute.

The cabbage should be wilted  but not soggy.  Plate and garnish with sesame seeds and fresh Cilantro. Place the tofu on top.

I served this two ways. For dinner with Brown rice and the cabbage itself  for lunch with a soft boiled egg.

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Spring Into Summer Soup

Serves 8

Ingredients:

4 Tbs butter, unsalted
1 each leek, sliced and cleaned
3 scallions, sliced
2 head of lettuce, Bibb, Boston, or green leaf, chopped
2 bags of frozen peas
.25 tsp black pepper
5 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
2 Tbs. fresh mint, chopped
1 tsp fresh basil, minced
.5 tsp fresh thyme, minced
salt to taste
1 lemon, rind and juice
.5 cup light cream
dash of Tabasco sauce

Sour cream for garnish with whatever fresh herb you have.

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the leeks and scallions and cook gently until starting to brown.
Add the chopped lettuce and let steam until wilted with the lid on. Remove lid and add peas, stock of your choice and fresh herbs, black pepper and a little salt. Cook for about 15 minutes or until everything is wilted and soft. You may add more herbs to your taste.

Let the soup cool. Using an immersion blender, blend everything. Add the lemon rind and juice, cream, tabasco, more salt if needed. Let cool in the fridge. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, garnished with fresh herbs.

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Cantelope, Jicama  And Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Jicama SaladHere’s a crisp cool salad for the dog days of August.  Not everyone loves cilantro so know your audience before you add this herb, and substitute mint if you think it will be a problem.  I served this on a bed of arugula with some papaya, which accounts for the orange you see in the photo.

Ingredients:

1/2 cantaloupe, cubed or made into melon balls
1/2 European Cucumber , thinly sliced
1/2 Jicama , thin slices
1 lime, zest and juice
1/4 cup chopped Mint OR Cilantro

Dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup mild hot sauce ( I used “Feel the Bern” , an homage to Vt’s Bernie, Frank’s or Crystal will do )
4 tsp rice vinegar
4 tsp honey
kosher salt

Cut the fruit and cucumber. Toss with the lime zest and juice

Mix the dressing ingredients in a small jar until the honey is dissolved. Add salt to taste. Adjust the rice vinegar and honey to your taste.

You may not need all of the vinaigrette so pour on what you need and toss.

Serves 4

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