Archive for June, 2019

Farmers’ Market Box 6-13-2019


 

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Carrots - D’Acquisto Farms
Lemon Cucumbers - Munak Ranch
Fennel - Coleman Family Farms
Gold Bar SquashTutti Frutti
Zucchini - Tutti Frutti
Yellow “Yellow Peaches - Ken’s Top Notch Produce
Rhubarb - Trevino Farms
Flavor Royal - Scott Farms

Farmer’s Choice:

Be Wise Strawberries - Be Wise Ranch
Italian Sweet Long Peppers - Kong Thao
Purple Peruvian Potatoes - Weiser Family Farms

Post your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #specialtyproducefmb or share them with the FMB community on our facebook page http://facebook.com/specialtyproduce!

When it’s about food…#specialtyproduce
Click the links above & search for products on our website with recipes attached Below are some great recipes for you to try out with the produce from your box/bag. Let us know on our Facebook Page or through twitter if you tried any of them with the hashtag #SpecialtyProduceFMB!


Farmers’ Market Box Recipes

 
Grilled Chicken and Fennel Slaw
Serves 6

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup chopped cornichons (about 9)
salt
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
6 potatoes rolls, split
1 medium fennel bulb, wispy ends removed and thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup basil leaves
Pinch red pepper flakes
Lettuce and tomato for garnish

1. In a small bowl, whisk the mustard, Worcestershire, garlic, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 2 tsp. black pepper in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, add ⅓ cup oil until emulsified. Transfer half of marinade to a small bowl, then whisk in mayonnaise and cornichons (this will be the special sauce). Season mayo dressing with salt; set aside.
2. Season chicken thighs with salt and add to medium bowl with remaining marinade. Toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature, tossing occasionally, at least 30 minutes, or chill up to 4 hours.
3. Preheat a grill or grill pan, and oil the grates or pan.
4. Grill chicken, turning once halfway through, until well charred and cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest 5 minutes.
5. Toss the sliced fennel, basil, red pepper flakes (if using), and remaining 2 tsp. oil and 2 tsp. lemon juice in a medium bowl; season with salt and black pepper.
6. Spread reserved mayonnaise dressing on cut sides of each bun. Arrange 1–2 lettuce leaves and sliced tomato on bottom halves. Top each with chicken, then arrange fennel salad over. Close sandwiches with top buns.

 
Lemon Cucumber Dip
Makes About 4 cups

2 cups Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons dill, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
4 lemon cucumbers, seeded, and finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup crumbled feta cheese 

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, oil, zest, lemon juice, dill, chives, cucumbers, and feta. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and serve with pita chips and crudités.

 
Rhubarb Cake
Makes one 9-inch layer

¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup whole buttermilk
1 cup diced rhubarb
½ cup sliced rhubarb
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, and zest at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Beat in vanilla bean paste.
5. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.
6. Fold in diced rhubarb. Pour batter into prepared pan. Top with sliced rhubarb, and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
7. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

 
Roasted Rhubarb
Makes About 1 1/2 cups

1/2 pound rhubarb, finely diced
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment, silicone and aluminum foil.
2. In a bowl, combine the ingredients and spread onto the baking sheet. Cover with aluminum foil, and roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and roast another 20 minutes until the mixture is a jammy consistency. Cool completely, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for 2 months.
3. The rhubarb is terrific mixed with strawberries in a parfait, as a topping for ice cream, toast or stuffed into baked French toast.

 
Honey Roasted Carrots
Serves 4-6

One bunch carrot, tops removed, scraped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, silicone or parchment.
2. Spread the carrots onto the baking sheet, and drizzle with the oil, honey, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper, and rub the mixture over all the carrots, and roast for 20 to 25 minutes turning once during the cooking time, roasting until the carrots are tender, and a bit charred.
3. Serve hot or at room temperature.
4. Drizzle with carrot top pesto if desired. (see below)

 
Carrot Top Pesto
Makes About 2 cups

1 1/2 cups packed carrot tops, (tough stems removed), washed, and spun dry
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. In a food processor or blender, combine the carrot greens with the garlic, pine nuts, and cheese.
2. Pulse on and off to break up the garlic and nuts.
3. With the machine running, add the oil, until the mixture is a paste. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Refrigerate for up to 7 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
5. Cook’s Notes:
a. To use the pesto, the paste can be used for bruschetta, or tossed into pasta, and rice.
Add more oil to some of the pesto to make a sauce for grilled meats, roasted vegetables, and poultry.
Add a bit of vinegar or lemon juice to make a vinaigrette.

 
Curried Carrot Salad
Serves 6-8

2 to 3 cups julienne carrots
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
⅓ cup golden raisins
½ cup roasted cashews
2 scallions
½ cup finely chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder

1. In a salad bowl, combine all the ingredients, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 4 days.

 
Stone Fruit Upside-Down Cake
Serves 8

1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 ripe plums, pluots, nectarines or peaches
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/4teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut one-fourth cup butter into pieces and add it to a small saucepan or skillet. Heat over medium heat until the butter browns but does not burn. Pour the browned butter into a small bowl and refrigerate until the butter solidifies.
3. Stir the vanilla paste into the milk heat the milk until it’s warm. Remove it from the heat and set aside to steep and cool.
4. Melt the remaining butter in a small, nonstick skillet. Remove it from the heat and add the brown sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
5. Pour the mixture into an 8-by-2-inch buttered cake pan, evenly coating the bottom of the pan.
6. Cut the plums in half, remove the pit, then cut each half into three or four slices.
7. Arrange the slices in a single layer of concentric circles, beginning at the outside edge of the pan, so they are touching but not overlapping. Cover the bottom of the pan, then arrange a second layer of fruit on top. Set aside while preparing the cake batter.
8. Beat the cooled browned butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg until blended.
9. In another bowl, stir together the cake flour, salt and baking powder.
10. Fold the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture alternately with the vanilla-bean milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture.
11. Gently spoon the batter over the top of the sliced plums in the cake pan. Spread the batter over the fruit so all the fruit is covered, and the batter is distributed to the sides of the pan.
12. Bake until the cake tests done in the center and is golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes.
13. Remove the cake from the oven and let it stand for a few minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cake to loosen the edges.
14. Put a serving plate on top of the cake and invert. Carefully remove the baking pan from the cake.
15. Cool. Serve warm.

 
Amaretto Peach French Toast
Serves 6-8

6 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 cups Hawaiian sweet bread, torn, egg bread
6 cups peeled and peaches, cut into wedges
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Cinnamon Sugar

1. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, baking powder, Amaretto, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, and cinnamon.
3. Pour the mixture over the bread in a mixing bowl and press down to make sure the bread is saturated.
4. Put the peaches, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornstarch in the prepared dish, stir to coat the peaches, and cover with the soaked bread, wedging it in to fit.
5. Do-Ahead: Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
6. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
7. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the bread and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the bread is puffed and golden and the peaches are bubbling.
8. Allow the French toast to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

 
Pluot Cobbler
Serves 6

For the Fruit

1 pound pluots, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a bowl, combine the ingredients. Taste for sugar and adjust if necessary—this will depend on the sweetness of the fruit.
3. Pour into the prepared baking dish and set aside while making the cobbler topping.

For the Cobbler Topping

1½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and sugar. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender, until the mixture is crumbly.
2. Add the cream and vanilla stirring until the mixture is moistened. The dough will be very wet. Divide into portions and drop onto the top of the fruit.
3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cobbler topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling and thickened.
Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving warm with vanilla ice cream.

 
Yellow Squash Salad
Serves 4

1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed well
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
3 yellow bar squash, thinly sliced
One bunch arugula, tough stems removed, washed and spun dry
1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano

1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, parsley, chives, capers, lemon juice and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
2. In a salad bowl, combine the squash and arugula. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
3. Add 1/2 the cheese and toss again.
4. Serve the salad garnished with the remaining cheese.

 
Yellow Squash Casserole
Serves 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped green shallot
3 yellow bar squash cut into 1/2 slices
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
One 5.5-ounce package Boursin cheese, crumbled
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat a 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a 12-inch skillet, heat the butter and oil together, add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the squash and cook another 3 minutes, stirring a few times. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add the flour, stir in the flour into the squash mixture, and cook until absorbed, another 2 minutes.
5. Add the milk and Boursin and stir until the mixture comes to a boil and the cheese has melted. Transfer to the prepared dish.
6. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley and oil, until the mixture is combined.
7. Spread over the casserole,
8. Bake the casserole until the top is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

 
Quick Zucchini and Yellow Bar Squash Bread and Butter Pickles
Makes 1 quart

1 pound very firm medium zucchini, and yellow bar squash sliced crosswise 1/8 inch thick
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
3 tablespoons kosher salt
Ice
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons brown or yellow mustard seeds, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1. In a large bowl, toss the zucchini and onion with 2 tablespoons of the kosher salt. Cover with ice water and let stand until just softened, about 45 minutes. Drain the zucchini and onion well and pat dry.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt with the vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, mustard powder, turmeric and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar; let cool completely.
3. Transfer the zucchini and onion to a 1-quart glass jar and pour in enough brine to cover. Seal with the lid and refrigerate overnight before serving.
4. The pickles can be refrigerated in the brine for up to 1 week.

 
Zucchini Chocolate Cake
Makes one 9-inch bundt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated zucchini (about 4 medium)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In the large bowl of an electric mixer cream together the butter, oil and sugar, until the mixture is blended—it may look curdled.
3. Add the eggs, vanilla and sour cream, and stir until combined.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on low speed until blended. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan; bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
5. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack and time for 10 minutes.
6. At the end of the 10 minutes, remove the cake from the pan, and allow to cool completely. Serve the cake garnished with sifted powdered sugar.

 
Crustless Zucchini Quiche
Serves 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup finely chopped shallot
1 garlic clove, minced
4 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and grated
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
Salt and pepper
6 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a skillet, heat the butter and saute the shallot, garlic, and zucchini, until the liquid in the pan evaporates, and the shallot is softened. Fold in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool in a mixing bowl.
3. When the zucchini is cooled, whisk in the eggs, cream, and the Parmigiano.
4. Pour into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with the goat cheese.
5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the center is just set and the top is golden brown. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

 
Strawberry Basil Scones
Makes 12

4 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into tiny bits
1 cup diced fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
¾ cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon heavy cream
raw sugar for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, silicone or aluminum foil.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add cold butter, tossing to coat.
3. Stir in strawberries and basil.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and 1 egg.
5. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring and folding just until moistened.
6. Turn out dough onto a heavily floured surface. Knead the dough 5 to 10 times, about 1 minute.
7. Roll dough to ¾- to 1-inch thickness. Using a 2¾-inch round cutter, cut dough, rerolling scraps only once. Place on prepared pan.
8. In a small bowl, whisk together cream and remaining 1 egg. Brush egg wash onto scones. Sprinkle with raw sugar, if desired.
9. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
10. Let cool slightly; serve warm.

 
Pepperonata
Serves 6

This is an awesome contorno with grilled meats, and poultry, or can be served on crostini for an apperitivo. My favorite way to serve these sweet peppers is to grill Italian sausages and tuck them into sandwich rolls and smother with Pepperonata—definitely street food.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large sweet yellow onion, or red onion, thinly sliced into 1/2 moons
1/2 pound long sweet peppers, cored, and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped basil
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup crushed canned tomatoes
Pinch sugar if needed

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, and saute the onion until it begins to turn translucent. Add the peppers, season with salt and pepper, and saute until the peppers are softened.
2. Add the basil, parsley and tomatoes, and cook down until the mixture is thickened and the peppers melt into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and sugar if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 
Roasted Peruvian Potatoes with Sriracha Ranch and Parmigiano
Serves 4

1 pound purple Peruvian potatoes
1 3/4 cups mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk, or substitute 1 cup whole milk mixed with 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried chives
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sriracha (or to taste)
1 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano

1. Put the potatoes into water to cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until tender. Drain and allow to cool slightly.
2. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes, put into a salad bowl.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, silicone or parchment.
4. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, chives, parsley, garlic, tarragon, oregano, basil, lemon pepper and siracha. Pour some of the dressing over the potatoes and toss to coat. Make sure that they are well coated.
5. Spread the potatoes onto the baking sheet and press the Parmigiano onto the top of the potatoes.
6. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes begin to get crisp, and the cheese is bubbling.
7. Serve the potatoes warm or at room temperature with additional dressing for dipping.
8. The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

 
@Diane Philips  www.dianephillips.com  Blog:  www.cucinadivina.blogspot.com

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Farmers’ Market Box 6-6-2019


 

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Loose Cocktail Roma Tomatoes - Dassi Farms Farms
Blue Lake Beans - Black Sheep Farms
Russian Kale - Coleman Family Farms
Yellow Flesh PlumsFitzgerald Fruit Farms
Torpedo Onions - Crows Pass Farm
Yellow “Sugar Lips Peaches - Fitzgerald Fruit Farms
Bok Choy - Be Wise Ranch
Mixed Beets - D’Acquisto Farms
Kale - D’Acquisto Farms

Farmer’s Choice:

White Nectarines - Scott Farms
Meyer Lemons - Rancho Del Sol

Post your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #specialtyproducefmb or share them with the FMB community on our facebook page http://facebook.com/specialtyproduce!

When it’s about food…#specialtyproduce
Click the links above & search for products on our website with recipes attached Below are some great recipes for you to try out with the produce from your box/bag. Let us know on our Facebook Page or through twitter if you tried any of them with the hashtag #SpecialtyProduceFMB!


Farmers’ Market Box Recipes

 
Green Bean Salad with Smoked Mozzarella
Serves 6

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Salad

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 torpedo onions (white and tender green parts), chopped
1 cup (about 4 ounces) smoked mozzarella cheese cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

1.)To begin the salad, cook the green beans in boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 7 to 10 minutes, and drain.
2.)In a large salad bowl, combine the beans, salt, pepper, scallions, and cheese, tossing together until blended.
3.)When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the beans and toss to coat. Add half the pine nuts and toss again. Serve garnished with the remaining pine nuts and the parsley.

 
Prosciutto Wrapped Peach Bruschetta
Serves 4-6

For the Bruschetta

One baguette sliced into1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1.)Preheat the oven to 400 degrees; line a baking sheet with silicone or parchment. Lay the baguette slices in one layer on the baking sheet.
2.)Brush the baguette slices with oil and bake for 10 minutes until the slices begin to turn golden brown.
3.)Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
4.)The crostini can be stored at room temperature for 2 days, or frozen for one month.

For the Peaches

2 peaches, pitted, and cut into wedges
1/4 pound thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma
Olive oil
4 ounces soft cheese such as goat cheese or robiola
Aged balsamic vinegar

1.)Preheat the broiler for 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2.)Wrap 1/2 slice of prosciutto around each peach wedge, securing with a toothpick.
3.)Brush each side of the prosciutto with some oil, and broil the peaches on one side, until they are crisp turn and broil the other side. You will probably only need 2 minutes on each side.
4.)Spread some of the cheese on the toasted bread, top with a peach wedge, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

 
Roasted Salmon with Tomato Peach Salsa
Serves 6

For the Salsa

4 ripe plum tomatoes cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 ripe, unpeeled peaches, in 1/4-inch dice (to make 1 cup)
½ cup finely diced torpedo onion
2 tablespoons finely shredded basil
½ jalapeno pepper, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 teaspoons white vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

1.)In a medium bowl, stir together the tomatoes, peaches, onion, basil, jalapeno, garlic, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
2.)The salsa will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

For the Salmon

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
2 1/2 pounds salmon filets

1.)Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour the oil and Old Bay into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Dip the salmon into the oil and arrange in the baking dish.
2.)Roast for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, until the salmon reaches 155 degrees on an instant read meat thermometer. Allow the salmon to rest for 5 minutes before serving with the salsa.

 
The Best Plum Cake on the Planet
Makes One 9″ Cake

This cake is one of the most requested recipes from the New York Times—they call it a torte. I’ve made it with all manner of stone fruits, but plums are my favorite. The recipe is forgiving and turns out a delicious cake every time.

¾ cup sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
6 to 8 plums, cut in half and pitted halves pitted plums
Granulated sugar

1.)Preheat oven to 350 degrees coat the inside of a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2.)In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the sugar and butter. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.
3.)Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
4.)Arrange the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar.
5.)Bake 45 to 55 minutes, or up to 1 hour, depending on your oven.
6.)Remove and cool completely before serving.

 
Sesame Noodle Salad with Bok Choy
Serves 8

1 pound linguine, cooked in boiling salted water 3 minutes short of al dente and drained
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (don’t use natural)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 cup snow peas, strings removed, cut on the diagonal
1 bok choy, tough root end removed, and leaves sliced 1/2-inch ribbons
2 torpedo onions (white and tender green parts), thinly sliced on the diagonal
4 medium-size carrots, cut into matchsticks (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1.)Drain the pasta and set aside.
2.)In a blender or food processor, process together the sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, peanut butter, vinegar, and brown sugar until smooth. Taste for soy sauce and sugar. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature and re-whisk to blend before continuing.
3.)In a skillet heat the remaining oil, and saute the peas and bok choy, until just wilted. Cool
4.)Add the snow peas, bok choy, scallions, carrots, snow peas, 2 tablespoons of the peanuts, and 1 tablespoon of the sesame seeds to the linguine. Pour over half of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
5.)Do-Ahead: At this point, cover and refrigerate the salad and remaining dressing for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.
6.)One hour before serving, remove the salad from the refrigerator and toss with more dressing if needed. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and 2 tablespoons of peanuts.
7.)Cook’s Note: This salad is a great vehicle for using leftover protein like chicken, seafood, or pork.

 
Colcannon
Serves 4-6

6 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 torpedo onions, green part only, minced
3 lightly packed cups chopped Red Russian Kale (tough stems removed)
1 1/3 cups whole milk
Salt and pepper
Unsalted butter

1.)Put the potatoes into water to cover and bring to a boil. Simmer until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
2.)In a large skillet, heat the butter, and saute the onions for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the kale, and saute until the kale is wilted. Add the milk and keep warm.
3.)When the potatoes are tender, drain them thoroughly, and return to the pot. Add the kale and onion mixture to the pot and mash the potatoes.
4.)Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with additional unsalted butter.

 
Chocolate Beet Cake
Makes 2 9-inch layers, or 24 cupcakes

2 medium beets, trimmed
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup hot water
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt

1.)Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the beets on a baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Roast the beets for 45 to 60 minutes, until the sharp tip of a paring knife inserted into the beets goes in easily. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and puree in a food processor or blender. You will need 3/4 cup of beets.
2.)Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Coat the inside of two 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray, or line muffin tins with paper liners. 
3.)In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
4.)In an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
5.)Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the grated beets and the vanilla.
6.)Dissolve the espresso powder in the water.
7.)Slowly add half of the flour mixture, add the water and the remaining flour mixture and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, smoothing the tops.
8.)Bake the cakes, rotating halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 25 minutes, or 15 to 20 minutes for cupcakes. Cool the cakes in their pans on a rack for 10 minutes and then turn them out onto racks. Let the cakes cool completely.

For the Frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup cocoa powder
4 to 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
Milk or water to thin the frosting

1.)In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the cocoa powder, sugar and espresso powder. Beat until smooth.
2.)Beat in the vanilla and some of the milk or water to thin to a spreading consistency.
3.)Place one of the cakes on a cake plate and spread frosting evenly over the top. Top with the second cake and spread a generous 1/2 cup frosting over it. Frost the sides with the remaining frosting.
4.)If you are frosting cupcakes, using a large star tip and a pastry bag to pipe a nice star onto the top of the cupcakes. 

 
Roasted Peach Cornbread Sundaes with Maple Bacon Sauce
Serves 8

For the cornbread

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream

1.)Preheat the oven to 375°F. and coat an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2.)In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3.)In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand-held electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
4.)Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Adjust the mixer speed to low and add the cream, milk, and sour cream; mix until combined.The batter may look curdled at this point.
Add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined and scraping down the sides as needed. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, smooth the top, and firmly tap the dish on the counter to break any air bubbles.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let the cornbread cool in its dish on a rack until warm.
For the bacon syrup

6 slices thick-cut bacon, preferably applewood-smoked
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup honey

In a 12-inch skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, flipping occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and then coarsely chop. Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the skillet.
Add the maple syrup and honey to the skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring to combine. Return the bacon to the skillet and stir to combine and heat through, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the syrup cool to warm.

For the Peaches

4 ripe semi-firm medium peaches (about 8 oz. each), halved and pitted
1/4 cup raw sugar, such as demerara or turbinado

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Dip the cut side of each peach into the sugar.
Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium high heat, and arrange the peaches cut side down.
Roast for 5 to 7 minutes until the peaches are tender.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut the peaches into wedges and keep warm.

For serving

Roasted Peach wedges, warmed
Vanilla gelato or ice cream
Cornbread, warmed
Bacon Syrup, warmed

Cut eight 2-inch cubes from the cornbread (you’ll have leftover cornbread). If made ahead, warm the cubes in a 250°F oven for 10 minutes, or lightly toast them in a toaster oven.
Put a cube of cornbread on each of 8 plates. Arrange the peaches and scoops of gelato near the cornbread. Top with the bacon syrup and serve.

 
Savory Nectarine Tart
Serves 6

This is a beautiful appetizer or first course, made with frozen puff pastry and a few other ingredients.

1 sheet puff pastry rolled to 14-inch circle or rectangle
One 5.5-ounce container Boursin cheese, softened
4 white nectarines, halved, pitted and thinly sliced

Apricot jam

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with foil, parchment or silicone. Prick the pastry all overwith the tines of a fork.
2. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool.
3. Meanwhile, mash the cheese so it is spreadable.
4. When the pastry is cooled, spread with the cheese. Top with the plums in a decorative pattern.
5. Brush the plums with the jam and bake again for 20 minutes, until the crust is golden, and the jam is bubbling.
6. Let the pastry rest for 10 minutes, then cut into wedges or squares. The tart is best served at room temperature.

 
White Nectarine Tart
Serves 8

For the Crust

3 cups crushed graham crackers
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put the graham crackers and sugar into a bowl.
2. Add butter and blend until crumbs are evenly moistened.
3. Press mixture over bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom.
4. Bake crust until color darkens, about 8 minutes. Cool completely.

For the Filling

1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 1/4 cup sour cream 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon orange juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

1. Beat the ingredients in medium bowl until smooth.2. Spread filling in prepared crust. Cover loosely and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

For the Topping

4 to 5 small white nectarines, halved, pitted, cut into thin slices 1/4 cup peach jam, warmed
1. Overlap nectarine slices atop filling in concentric circles.
2. Brush with jam. Serve, or refrigerate up to 6 hours.

 
Frozen Lemon Mousse
Serves 8

1 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1/2 to 2/3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup mascarpone
1 cup heavy cream, whipped stiffly

1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, eggs, and lemon juice over medium high heat.
2. Whisk until the mixture begins to thicken.
3. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the cold butter.
4. Pour the mixture into a bowl, and press plastic wrap onto the top, and cool completely.
5. In the bowl of an electric mixture combine the mascarpone and the whipped cream.
6. Add 2 cups of the lemon mixture, whisking to combine.
7. Pour the mixture into 4 to 6-ounce ramekins. Freeze until firm.
8. Serve with fresh berries.

 
Slow Cooker Sea Bass Tagine
Serves 6-8

2 pounds sea bass filets
½ cup olive oil
Grated zest of one Meyer lemon
¼ cup Meyer lemon juice
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
½ cup finely chopped cilantro
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
One 28 to 32-ounce can crushed tomatoes and their juice
6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup finely chopped Italian parsley

1. Place the fish in a zipper-top plastic bag. In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ cup oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, paprika and the cilantro. Pour over the fish in the bag, seal, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 4 hours.
2. In a large skillet, heat the remaining oil, add the garlic, onions, cumin and saffron, cooking until the onions are softened, and add the tomatoes, stirring the mixture to blend.
3. Arrange the potatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker, sprinkle evenly with the salt and pepper. Add the tomato mixture to the pot, cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours, until the potatoes are almost tender.
4. Pour the marinade into the pot, stir the potatoes, and sauce together and arrange the fish on top of the potatoes spooning some of the sauce over the top.
5. Cook for another 1 to 1 ½ hours, until the sea bass is cooked through and is opaque in the center. Sprinkle the parsley evenly over the top of the sea bass and serve immediately, scooping up some potatoes and sauce, with the fish.

 
@Diane Philips  www.dianephillips.com  Blog:  www.cucinadivina.blogspot.com

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