Category Archives: cooked veggies

Tomato Sauce with Thai Basil (or regular Basil): Quick, Thick, and Easy!

the fresh ingredients.
The ingredients

WOW, this recipe sure is a winner! I was told by one shopper that I should mass produce and sell it. It really is that good. And you can make it, too, in under an hour.

The secret is twofold. First, straining after a short cooking time, cooking just the liquid down separately and then adding the reserved pulp back in means intense flavor from the cooked down liquid and fresh flavor and texture from the tomatoes and other ingredients that don’w actually get cooked for all that long. Second, I really liked the addition of Thai basil to this simple recipe. You can’t really taste the anise/fennel flavor of the Thais basil but it lends something special to the dish. Although, you could certainly make a fabulous sauce using all regular basil, with our without additional fresh herbs of your choice. And, don’t take the amounts in the recipe as written in stone. Pinch and handful measurements will work fine.

It is a great way to make sauce when you don’t have a lot of time. It is also a great way to use up tomatoes in this season of abundance. This recipe is perfect for freezing, too. Here is the recipe:

The first simmer

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 smallish onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped or torn fresh Thai basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped or torn fresh basil leaves
1/8 cup chopped or torn fresh parsley
5 lbs slicing tomatoes
5-6 turns of the black pepper mill, to taste
1/2 tsp salt or to taste

Slice the tomatoes in half, removing core, and grate into a large bowl, sliced side on the biggest hole side of the grater. Discard skins.
Heat olive oil, add onion and garlic and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

The liquid just about cooked down. I added some extra Thai basil leaves to the liquid to infuse a bit more flavor.

Strain mixture through a mesh strainer, in batches as need to get as much liquid out as possible. Reserve the pulp and pour the liquid back into the pan and simmer until reduced until the liquid is thick enough to stay apart so you can see the pan for a few moments after running a spoon along the bottom.

Thick sauce! So good!

Add the pulp back and heat through. That’s it! Make a big batch and freeze some.

Amaranth, the Green that is Red. A quick and easy sauté side

Just five ingredients!

We finally had a cool enough market day to use some heat in the cooking demo! I went with amaranth, a plant better known for its grains but that has really tasty greens as well. Although, the “greens” that our farmers at Flats Mentor Farm grow are more red. In fact, they look like they are a kind of coleus plant rather than an edible veggie.

While it can be used like any green, it really shines when sautéed due to its slightly sturdy texture and touch of umami in its flavor.

Here is what to use and how to do it:

Rinse, dry, and the prep amaranth by removing the leaves from the stems and tearing the leaves into largish pieces. Chop or mince (your choice) a few cloves of garlic, heat olive oil in a sauté pan and give the garlic a 15- 30 second start before adding the amaranth leaves. Then just cook, taking care to not have the heat so high that the garlic burns before the greens are done. It will take 5-7 minutes before the greens shrink and soften. Add salt and pepper if or as desired and remove from heat when done to your preferred texture and taste.

This shot was taken the same evening as the demo when I made the dish at home.

That’s it! And along with getting your amaranth from Flats Mentor Farm, be sure to pick up some fresh garlic from them or another of our farmers.

By the way, two boys (unrelated) just about to turn four years old LOVED this, and a five year old girl deemed it “delicious.” And our regular taster Eva Rose loved it, too. And so did my husband. So, I’d say its worth a try.

Eat Your Veggies! Just Add Farm Fresh Eggs

Justina Langone, Owner of The Remedy Exchange at 41 Tuttle Street in Wakefield MA was our guest chef on June 22. With the Market Kitchen Tent right next to Lilac Hedge Farm, which offers fresh eggs from pasture-raised chickens, it was a no-brainer: Veggie Omelette! Or, rather, for sake of sample-size servings, Veggie Scramble!

There is no hard and fast recipe for this: simply select the fresh veggies you like, slice, sauté, add any preferred seasoning, add some beaten eggs, and cook as desired. You really can’t go wrong. Especially with farm fresh veggies and eggs.

For veggies, Justina went with asparagus, tomato, zucchini, yellow carrot, and green onion, selected from Farmer Dave’s and Kelly’s Farm, sauteed in a bit of canola oil. While salt and pepper would certainly do just fine, she could not resist scouting about the market for something special to bring things up a notch. She found the perfect “secret ingredient” at one of our new vendors.

You may remember (and can find on this web site) the lovely recipes Suman Shah of Fork On A Road prepared at our Market Kitchen Tent last year. She is now one of our vendors, selling meal kits (just add fresh veggies from you farmers!) and also, wonderful spice blends. Justina opted for the Haldi, or freshly ground turmeric, a wise choice as it added just the right touch of flavor and a bit of fun color, as well.

Veeggies sautéed with turmeric

Again, you could use any seasoning, or just enjoy the fresh flavors with a bit of salt and pepper.

The samples!

This could also be a good recipe to use to get your kids cooking, and eating veggies, as well. Thank you, Justina!