Ratatouille

Every Thursday, Fresh Fork Market customers receive a newsletter with a suggestion of recipes for a few of the items we receive.  Back at week 4, Trevor included several recipes for ratatouille.  Previously, I did not know much about ratatouille except that it is the title of a cute kids movie.  I think it is nearing the end of ratatouille season as it typically includes summer squash and tomatoes, but I think you can still buy some quality local squash and tomatoes.  At any rate, I wanted to post this so I can remember which recipe we enjoyed for ratatouille from the newsletter.

Stovetop Ratatouille

Ingredients

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, split

1 lg globe eggplant

1 sm zucchini

1 sm yellow squash

2 med tomatoes

1 lg onion

3 cloves garlic

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

2 sweet bell peppers

Salt & Pepper to taste

Thinly slice onion. Chop bell peppers.  Mince garlic. Cut eggplant into a 1/2 inch dice. Cut zucchini and yellow squash in half longwise; thinly slice both. Cut tomatoes into thin wedges (approx 8 per tomato). In a large Dutch oven (I used a large soup pot), heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and saute until just transleucent. Add garlic and continue sauteeing until

fragrant. Add eggplant and drizzle with more oil; cook stirring until eggplant is about 3/4 cooked. Add zucchini and yellow squash and cook until squash is about 1/2 done. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil; lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for 30- 40 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are done. Serve as sauce over whole grain pasta or as a stew.

I served over grilled chicken strips.   This was good the first night and wonderful the second.  It’s one of those dishes that is even better when you have leftovers.  So ideally, I would prepare this, throw the cooked chicken into it, throw it in the fridge and eat it the next day.

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Immersion blender love

I got a new kitchen tool this week that has made changed my life.

Although I enjoy smoothies in many ways, I didn’t make them often because of the inconvenience of the clean-up.  This thing is so easy I made a smoothie 3 days in a row.  And pureed soups are some of my favorites so I know I will be making those more now that I don’t have to pour hot liquid into the blender, blend, remove, and repeat until it is all smooth.

I’ve already made a tomato soup with smoked paprika.  The little bit I tasted was good, but I froze all of it so we can have a taste of summer during the winter.  In case you are interested in the recipe, I found it here.  We had a plethora of tomatoes building up so that was a great way to use them up before they went bad.  Right now, the only tomatoes we have are from our CSA.  Because of the heat and humidity we had for awhile this summer, they stopped growing.  But now there are more than 50 green tomatoes on our ONE tomato plant.  I can’t believe what a monster this tomato plant is.


Cherry tomato summer yum

I had a pint of cherry (grape? is there a difference?) tomatoes and some fresh basil in the kitchen, so I decided to make this recipe from skinnytaste.com.  I am not in the Weight watcher program, but if I was, I think this website would be my go-to for recipes because she posts the points, calories and all that stuff you need to know.  We’ve made a bunch of very tasty things from this blog.

This dish was great, especially the fresh tomatoes which were like little bursts of summer in your mouth.  I think if I were to make any changes, I would add more tomatoes or zucchini.  I did not measure the tomatoes I had so perhaps 2 cups is more than the pint I had.  I’d also add the basil right before serving.  I left this in the pan for a few minutes and the basil cooked a bit and wasn’t as fresh.

Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2 skinless chicken breast halves, diced in 1 inch cubes
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried oregano and dries basil
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • 8 oz spaghetti
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Directions:

1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to
boil.  Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Heat a large skillet on high heat. When
hot, spray with oil and add chicken. Cook about 3-4 minutes, until no longer pink.  Remove chicken and set
aside.
2.  Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.

3.  While pasta cooks, add olive oil to skillet on high heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown (do not burn). Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Sauté about 4-5 minutes.

4.  When pasta is drained, add pasta to tomatoes and toss well. If pasta seems too dry, add some of the reserved pasta
water. Add fresh basil and chicken and toss well. Serve and top with good grated cheese.


Tabouli, anyone?

We had a little family birthday party yesterday.

My best attempt at a truck cake.  A cake decorator I am not.  But it tasted good and the 2 year old was pleased with his dump truck cake.  He’s pretty much obsessed with construction vehicles and we do stalk construction sites.   Good times.

I found this little gem of a recipe.  The only thing I needed to buy at the store was a lemon because I had everything from the Fresh Fork CSA.  I made it for the party  and everyone who tried it, said it was good.  I don’t usually love tabouli but I could eat this all up.  It’s light, refreshing, and a great summer appetizer.

Cilantro Tabouli

  •                     2 1/4 cups water
  •                     1/2 cup bulgar wheat (I used spelt berries.  You could use any whole grain.)
  •                     2 tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  •                     2 green onions, sliced into thin slivers
  •                     1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  •                     2 cloves garlic, minced, or to taste
  •                     1 lemon, juiced
  •                     1 tablespoon olive oil
  •                     1 teaspoon ground cumin
  •                     1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  •                     salt to taste

            Directions

  1.                     Bring water to a boil in a saucepan, turn off the heat, and stir in the bulgur wheat. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to absorb water. Strain off any liquid left unabsorbed, if necessary.
  2.                     Place the bulgur wheat in a large salad bowl, and lightly toss with the tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, pepper, and salt until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate the salad for at least 3 hours to blend the flavors; serve cold.

Adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cilantro-tabouli/detail.aspx