A basic and incredibly versatile Balsamic vinaigrette
Drizzle this on just about everything in the world of vegetables….the red wine vinegar cuts the sweetness of the balsamic
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (other fruit vinegars work well too)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 shallot finely diced (1 clove of garlic can work here too for those who like full flavor)
salt and fresh pepper
5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Combine vinegars, shallot, salt and pepper and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Whisk in olive oil. Drizzle on to greens, tomatoes, green beans, whatever.
This is a basic soup that can be complemented with several flavors to keep everyone interested. Try the following additions: Sautéed, shaved ginger
Roasted red pepper
2 Tablespoons butter, olive oil, or a mixture
1 Onion, sliced thin
1 lb. Carrots, sliced thin
1 Bay leaf
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
3 Tablespoons white rice
1 Teaspoon paprika
1 Teaspoon cumin
Half teaspoon coriander
Salt and fresh pepper
7 Cups water or vegetable stock
Heat butter/oil over medium heat in soup pot. Add onion, carrots, bay leaf, parsley, and rice cook until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add spices, half teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Cook for five more minutes. Add the water/stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered for about 25 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf. Take 2 cups of soup and puree until very smooth and set aside. Puree the remainder of the soup, leaving some “texture”. Put the two portions together and add salt/pepper as desired or other additional complementary ingredients.
It’s easy to make your own broth to use in cooking or as the basis for soups. It’s healthier, too, than buying canned broth, since you can control the amount of salt you add and can remove fat from the stock after cooking.
Use stewing chickens, chicken backs, or the leftover carcass from a roast chicken. Place the chicken in a large stockpot with yellow onions with the skins on (to add color), celery ribs, carrots, bay leaves, whole peppercorns, thyme, and salt.
Cover the ingredients with water and bring to a boil. Remove any debris that floats to the top, reduce to a simmer, and cover.
Once done, strain the liquid to remove the vegetables, bones, and any meat pieces. Let the stock cool completely and refrigerate. Remove any fat that congeals at the top.
Cooking time: three to four hours.
First, think about how you would like to use your tomatoes over the winter and how much room you have to keep them in the freezer. This will guide you in the best way to freeze them.
• Freezing whole toms gives you the most options as they can be used one at a time to make chunky style soups or sauces. The downside is whole tomatoes take up a lot of freezer space.
• Making a sauce or puree is space efficient when freezer space is limited but doesn’t allow for much in the way of “texture”. You are also forced to thaw a whole ziplock at a time.
Boil 2 quarts of water. Core tomatoes and cut a small ‘X’ on the bottom of each one, just piercing the skin. Plunge the toms in the boiling water a few at a time for 1 minute. Pull them out and run them under cold water or place them in an ice-water bath until all the heat has left them. Starting at the ‘X,’ use a fingernail or a butter knife to peel back the skin.
Place tomatoes on a cooking sheet so that they are not touching and freeze. Pull them out in a few hours and pack them in ziplocks. Use them one by one all winter.
Boil 2 quarts of water. Core tomatoes and cut a small ‘X’ on the bottom of each one, just piercing the skin. Plunge the toms in the boiling water a few at a time for 1 minute. Pull them out and run them under cold water or place them in an ice-water bath until all the heat has left them. Starting at the ‘X’, use a fingernail or a butter knife to peel back the skin.
After the skins are gone you can roast them in the oven -6 hours at 200 with the seeds removed, or cook them down on the stove starting with onions, garlic, etc.
Seeding and pureeing them is also an easy option that provides a good base for lots of stuff.
To freeze, fill your ziplock, jar or tub no more than ¾ in from the top of the container, this will allow room for the contents to expand a bit. Try to place bags on a flat surface in the freezer. This makes the ziplocks more modular for moving around with your other frozen stuff.
1 rutabaga, peeled and cubed into half inch pieces
Salt and fresh pepper
3 tablespoons butter or sunflower oil (more for the big honker rutabagas)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon thyme
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
about a half cup bread crumbs browned in butter or oil
Boil the rutabagas until beginning to soften but not soft, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter foams, add the rutabaga and stir until brown. Toss with herbs and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with bread crumbs.
This is a great preparation for turnips too!
Peel the squash (optional), cut off the ends and halve. Cut into slices about a third of an inch thick. Heat the oil in a wide skillet and add the squash, frying over medium heat until beginning to brown (7-8 minutes). Turn and cook on the second side until tender. Add salt, pepper, parsley and cumin and toss to coat.
1 pound broccoli
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
12-15 black olives, kalamata are nice, I’m partial to the oil cured ones.
Separate the broccoli florets into bite size pieces and peel and chop the stalks (they are really good). Steam for 4-5 minutes with the steamer lid slightly off. They will still have some crunch when done. While the broccoli is cooking, wisk the vinegars, garlic, and hot red pepper together in a small bowl. Wisk in the oil slowly until the mixture is smooth and even. Add salt. Pit and chop the olives. When the broccoli is finished, toss everything together and serve.
1/2 apple (something sour, like Granny Smith)
1/2 small head cabbage
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup pecans
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Cut apple into 1/2-inch cubes and very thinly slice enough cabbage to measure 3 cups. In a bowl toss together apple, cabbage, lemon juice, and salt to taste.
Let sit for at least 30 minutes to let the lemon juice work its magic.
Chop pecans. In a small skillet toast pecans in butter over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Sprinkle sugar and salt to taste over pecans and cook, stirring frequently, until pecans are coated, about 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and cool pecans slightly. Add pecans with butter in skillet and chives to cabbage mixture and toss to combine well. Season slaw with salt.
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
2 table spoons butter
salt and fresh pepper
fresh herbs coarsely chopped parsley, thyme, and marjoram and favorites.
Heat a large skillet of sauteed pan over medium heat. Once hot, add butter. Once melted add remaining ingredients and sauteed gently over medium heat until the vegetable soften.
Water can be added to this to form a simple stock. Try starting your favorite soups, stews and casseroles with this base, adding ingredients to the finished mirepoix. A mirepoix is used either to season stews, soups, sauces, and fricasses or as a base for braising meats or fish. In this recipe, mirepoix refers to equal parts of finely diced carrot, onion, and celery.