In honor of the summery weather and full harvest time, I made a fresh corn relish highlighting a number of veggies along with, of course, fresh corn. It was a bit hit! And, for once, I made the recipe as written. Well, almost. <grin>
Quick, easy, tasty, it can be a side dish, a dip, a topping or garnish for fish, (salmon comes to my mind) pork, or whatever strikes your fancy. Here it is, with a few notes.
2 cups fresh corn kernels from the cob (I used 4 ears) * 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper 1/2 cup finely diced red onion 1/2 cup finely diced tomatoes 1/3 cup deseeded, deveined, finely diced jalapeno or other hot pepper.** 1/2 cup white vinegar 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 1 tablespoon dried – use the olive oil if using dried basil) 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (optional) salt & pepper to taste
* Click HERE for a video showing how to get kernels off the cob without the mess!
I actually converted a few “I hate kale” folks and had a toddler coming back for 3rds! I based my sauté recipe on The Sauteed Kale Recipe that Converts Kale-Haters, which has butter or ghee as the cooking oil, along with shallots, soy sauce, and Dijon mustard as the secret ingredients for success.
Since I stay vegan for our demos and with no shallots available at the time, I had to make a few adjustments. Here is the recipe I used at the market. In contrast to the recipe I put on the bulletin board during the demo, I used a medium-largish onion, doubled the amounts of soy sauce and mustard, and cooked the onions slow and low for about 25 minutes so they just started to caramelize. I knew that doing this with the onions would give a bit of a creamy texture and sweetness that, while not a substitute for what butter can bring, brought a special something beyond just a quick cook of the onions in the olive oil.
2-3 Tbsp Olive oil 1 medium to large onion 1-2 large garlic clove, minced 2 tsp. tamari or soy sauce 1 tsp. Old School Kitchen’s Maple Bourbon Mustard * 1 bunch of kale, rinsed and chopped ** water as needed salt and black pepper, to taste * Use whatever mustard you like **Don’t dry the kale; the water droplets will help it steam as cooking.
Remove leaves from stems and chop the kale into small pieces.
Heat the oil or fat over medium heat in a saute pan with high sides or a dutch oven.
Add the onion, lower heat, and cook slow and low for at least 20 minutes to bring out sweetness – longer if you have time to caramelize them a bit more. Bring the heat up and add the garlic, cooking briefly until fragrant, about a minute.
Add the chopped kale and stir to coat in the oil. Add the tamari or soy sauce and mustard, and stir again.
Sauté, stirring frequently, until the kale is tender, about 8-10 minutes or to how you like it. If the kale starts to stick to the pan, add a couple tablespoons of water. This will help soften the kale, and the water will cook off.
Season with salt and pepper before serving and enjoy…But wait, what was that about a massage?
To season and soften kale without cooking, simply remove the leaves from the stems and chop the leaves, add a bit of olive oil, salt (I used and would recommend kosher salt if you have it) and a squeeze of lemon juice. Then rub or “massage” with your fingers for a few minutes or more. You can use it alone as a salad green (ooo, I can taste this with walnuts and apples!) or in a salad mix, add to a stir fry, or use the rubbed leaves to make kale chips!
How hot was it? We don’t need to relive that. 🙂 But, cucumbers worked well as the star ingredient of the WFM cooking demo on July 20! And, since all our produce farmers had plenty of cukes and/or blueberries for sale, a cucumber and blueberry salad seems a good choice. Plus, I brought back the Quick and Simple Pickles recipe from last August with just a minor twist, using maple syrup from our own Ackermann’s Maple Farm as the sweetener.
First, click HERE for the link to the Quick Pickles recipe. I followed it as is except I used a scant tablespoon of maple syrup instead or the two tablespoons of honey I used last summer. The original recipe calls for up to two tablespoons of sugar, buts notes the sweetener as optional. Oh, I used pickling cukes. I tried a bite and found the peel to be bitter. It would not matter when using a heat pickling technique, but I opted to peel them for this recipe.
Now, on to the salad! So easy! I used regular cucumbers and followed this recipe except for changes noted:
Cucumber Blueberry Salad 1 cucumber (10 inches long and 2.5″ diameter or so) 2 cups (1 pint) fresh blueberries 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions 2 tablespoons olive oil 1+ tablespoon lime juice (I used freshly squeezed lemon juice) 1+ tablespoon rice vinegar (or type of your choice) ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro or parsley leaves, loosely packed (I used parsley) ¼ teaspoon salt 1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper ½ cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese, optional (No feta used but a great addition!)
Of course, adjust all seasonings/ingredients to taste!
Peel cucumbers if/as desired. With a sharp knife, cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. With the tip of a spoon, scrape out the seeds Cut into thin slices. In a large bowl, toss cucumber, blueberries, scallions and. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, lime (or lemon) juice, parsley or cilantro , salt and pepper. Pour over the cucumber mixture and toss to combine. Sprinkle with feta cheese, if desired (you could use a stronger vinegar if using feta). As I always say, use all recipes as a guideline. What tastes best to YOU is what matters. That and supporting our farmers and vendors, of course. Enjoy!
1 pound beets 1 large shallot * Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, or to taste * 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or other good strong vinegar * Minced parsley, dill, chervil, rosemary or tarragon *
* There were no shallots, so i substituted a comparable amount of scallions from Flats Mentor Farms, using mostly the white bulb and just a bit of the green. In lieu of Dijon, I opted for the Old School Kitchen Maple Bourbon Mustard from Jane of West River Creamery. I used a nice red wine vinegar that paired nicely with the beets, and I used fresh oregano from Fay Mountain Farm for the herb. the beautiful Golden Beets were from Farmer Dave’s.
Peel the beets and the shallot. Combine them in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, and pulse carefully until the beets are shredded; do not puree. (Or grate the beets by hand and mince the shallots; combine, [as i did].) Scrape into a bowl. Toss with the salt, pepper, mustard, oil and vinegar. Taste, and adjust seasoning. Toss in the herbs, and serve.
This is a quick, easy, and versatile salad, perfect for a hot summer day. Read the notes below the recipe on the NYtimes site for a number of ideas as to how you can jazz this one up. Enjoy!
And, a thank you to the woman who helped me determine the final adjustments of the seasonings!
It was a muggy day and the weather was iffy, so I went for a simple concoction, albeit I did toss my intentions to go electricity-free and used a food processor instead of dicing and mashing to make a thick tomato sauce that could double as a spread for bruschetta.
I got both big tomatoes and fresh basil from Kelly’s Farm and cherry tomatoes, fresh garlic, red scallions, and parsley from Farmer Dave’s, using only olive oil, plus salt and pepper to taste from my “bag of tricks” of pantry items.
I was basing the recipe on one I had seen asking of 2 and 1/4 lb tomatoes, and, between two big tomatoes and a pint of cherries, I think I used about that. And, I used a bit more than a tablespoon of chopped garlic since it was so fresh and juicy that I felt the sauce could use extra. NOTE: when using very fresh, young garlic, the bulbs are not fully developed in to separate cloves, nor is the skin dry and easy to remove. But, sharp knife takes care of that! And oh, it tastes so good. I ate a clove raw.
The original recipe did not call for red scallions, but they were so pretty that I just had to grab a bunch, and I think they added that “special something/secret ingredient” flavor and texture to the end product. As to parsley, no one had pre-cut available by the time I “shopped,” so I purchased a plant for my home from Farmer Dave’s and picked what I needed fresh from the plant.
Here’s basic the recipe:
2 1/4 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon flat leave parsley
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (typically two cloves) or more to taste
2 tablespoons sliced (dice size) red scallion, red part only (optional)
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
First, cut the cherry tomatoes in half and the larger tomatoes in quarters and squeeze out the seeds and as much pulp and juice as you can. (Because this sauce is not cooked down, it is crucial to remove as much liquid as possible from the tomatoes so you don’t end up with a soupy mess.)
Put all the tomato pieces in a food processor and process for 15 seconds or more to create a mealy texture and remove to a strainer over a bowl to catch the liquid. (don’t dump the liquid – it tastes great as a beverage!)
While the processed tomatoes are straining, remove all stems from the basil and parsley before measuring, with the leaves somewhere between loosely and tightly packed, chop your garlic and scallion, and get your olive oil ready to measure.
Put all the veggies and the olive oil in the processor and process away for, perhaps another 10-15 seconds. It really does not take long and you do want to leave some texture.
Then, add salt and pepper to taste. I used about 1/3 teaspoon of salt and that popped the flavor just right for me. But always stir well and taste and don’t be afraid to add just a bit more at a time until it reaches that “aha!” point.
And, that’s it! Mix it with hot or cooled cooked pasta and top with some Parmesan cheese, if desired, spread on a baguette slice and top with fresh mozzarella, or use as a base for pizza. To ramp things up, put it is a sauce pan to cook it down a bit and add several tablespoons of butter for a decadent but so worth it addition to anything calling for a rich tomato sauce.
While you are at it, take advantage of the summer bounty of freshly picked tomatoes from all our local farmers and make and freeze a few batches for a cold winter day.