Monday, July 18, 2011

Garlic Scape and Tomato Pasta

I've been trying to come up with some new ways to use garlic scapes. I managed to go for a run in this ungodly heat and after a long, cold shower I was starving! Luckily I had some leftover, plain cooked pasta from a few days before, several garlic scapes, a couple of fresh onions from the Corner Farm and one last jar of canned tomatoes left over from last summer. This is a quick and light pasta that didn't even make me regret turning on the stove top!


Olive oil
2 garlic scapes, sliced
pinch red pepper flakes
2-3 small spring onions sliced
1 cup or so of crushed tomatoes
splash balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
pasta, either left over or cooked according to package

- Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic scapes, pinch of salt, several turns of freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes and sautee until the scapes get nice and green

- Add the onions and continue cooking, turning down the heat if needed.

- Add the tomatoes and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Bring to a simmer and then turn down to heat through. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

- Add the pasta and toss with the sauce.

- Remove from the heat, chiffonade 8 or so leaves of basil and stir in

- Transfer pasta to bowls and serve with some freshly grated parmesan

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Grilled Keftas with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce and a Cucumber, Tomato, Feta Salad

We were craving middle eastern last night and decided to revisit a recipe for grilled keftas (ground lamb skewers) and try out a yogurt-tahini sauce to bring to our friends' house for dinner. I threw together a quick tomato, cucumber, feta salad and served everything with pita, carmelized red onions and sauted yellow peppers. The keftas are an old favorite, the yogurt tahini sauce a new favorite, every bit of it was sopped up with pita!

Follow the link for the recipes...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Potato, Arugula and Herb Frittata

Potato, Arugula and Herb Frittata
- 2 small red potatoes, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 small yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
- Approx. 2 oz. arugula, stem ends removed and leaves roughly chopped*
- 8 organic eggs
- large handful parsley
- 10-12 basil leaves, chiffonade
- some chopped tarragon**
-  Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
Tabasco (optional)
*if you can’t find arugula, use spinach
** use whatever herbs you enjoy or have handy
Preheat the oven to 425
In a cast iron skillet (or other skillet that can go on top of and in the stove) heat 3 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
Add the potatoes and cook, stirring, for about 2-3 minutes
Add the onion, some salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until softened, about another 8 minutes
Add the arugula and cook until wilted, about a minute
Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk the eggs, herbs, salt and pepper
Once the arugula is wilted, add the egg mixture to the skillet
Cook for about 6-8 minutes, or until the center is starting to set
Put the skillet in the oven and cook for another 5 minutes (if you want, turn it up to broil for the last minute to get the top to brown a little)
Let cool slightly and serve with a dash of Tabasco if you like.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Radish Salad

Jason put together a new batch of lemon confit which is ready to try out. I went for a nice long, cool run this morning on the lake front and stopped by the Green City Farmer's Market afterward. To my delight they had icicle radishes (I haven't had any yet this season).

I was feeling a little peckish and wanted a late afternoon snack. I took a look around and decided to thrown together:

several radishes
1/2 minced confited lemon
1/2 oz feta

The radish and lemon confit on their own didn't exactly work, but with the feta it was delicious. I'm going to have to think of some mediterranean style feta and lemon confit combinations to try out!

Aitor's Gazpacho and Vichyssoise Soups

The men recently did some supper club cooking and Aitor supplied a trio of soups (red, white and blue for 4th of July!). The Gazpacho and Vichyssoise were absolutely amazing. The blueberry soup was delicious, but sweet, more of a dessert. Either way, they will all make appearances frequently through the summer. The recipes for the gazpacho and vichyssoise are below


6 ripe tomatoes
1/2 cucumber, peeled
1 small green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic
2 slices white bread
3 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp vinegar
**dash hot sauce (optional)

-Put all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Pass soup through a colander and chill before serving


2 leeks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup thinly sliced potatoes
2 1/3 cups chicken stock
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 1/8 cups heavy whipping cream

- Sweat the leeks and onion in a sauce pan with the butter

- Once softened, add the potatoes, stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 30 minutes.

- Add to blender and puree until smooth. Chill. Stir in cream before serving.

Chilled Cucumber Soup

Adapted from this month's Food & Wine. Perfect porch eating dish.

3 cucumbers (abt. 4 oz. each) peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cucumber (abt. 4 oz) peeled and diced
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/4 cup cold water
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 jalapeno seeded and minced
2 Tbsp shredded mint leaves
1/4 cup plain yogurt

- In a blender combine the 3 cucumbers, ice, water, olive oil, lemon juice, half of the jalapeno and half of the mint leaves and puree. Add salt and refrigerate

- When ready to serve, pour soup into bowls and garnish with the diced cucmber, yogurt and remaining jalapeno and mint

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sauteed Beet Greens

We have beautiful little beets coming up in the corner farm and I brought home a handful the other day after watering. The greens were so beautiful and are usually overlooked as an edible part of the plant. Immediately after getting home I cut the greens of the beets and store them in a separate plastic bag in the crisper. They can be sauteed just like any other green and make for a delicious side. I usually discard part of the stems if they are especially long, but like to leave some stem for a little crunch.


- beet greens
- oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- pinch red pepper flakes
- salt

-Heat oil in a pan, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until they just start to sizzle

-Add the beet greens and cook until wilted

-Finish with a dash of salt and serve!

Zucchini Blossoms

I have been loving my time with the Altgeld Sawyer Corner Farm. Jason took some great photos on July 3rd and July 10th. The farm is going crazy right now. We had a brief but harsh storm Monday morning and that afternoon I joined a couple of other members to stake up some of the tomato, pepper and corn plants that had gotten knocked around. Several zucchini blossoms had been knocked off the plant and I decided to bring them home and fry them up. I opted for a flour and water batter instead of flour and egg to keep them a little lighter. The blossoms fried up beautifully, I only wish I had grabbed a few more!

The Italians only use the male blossoms, identifiable by their single pistil (which you can remove before cooking). The female blossoms will be attached to the zucchini. I fell in love with this delicacy in Italy before our wedding at Dal Lino Ristorante in Florence. We had them served during the cocktail hour of our reception and I daresay those were one of the greatest bites of food I have ever eaten. Fried zucchini blossoms and sauteed beets greens with dinner last night were such a treat and the best way to kick off the official start of my summer vacation.


zucchini blossoms
water or soda water
mozzarella (or whatever cheese you like)

-In a small bowl mix the flour with enough water so it is the consistency of cream. Add some salt and pepper.

-Stuff the blossoms with a small piece of mozzarella (which I had handy) or any other cheese and even a little salami if you like.

-Heat the oil in a pan, dredge the blossoms in the flour and water mixture, and fry on both sides until golden brown.

-Drain on paper towels and enjoy!