Making and Freezing Roasted Peppers

Peppers can be roasted whole or halved, on an open flame or oven. Brush them with olive oil and lay them on the grill or on a cookie sheet in a 500 degree oven until the skin begins to darken and pull away from the flesh of the pepper. At this point turn them and repeat the blackening on another side. Once the pepper is roasted all around put it immediately into a paper bag for 10 minutes, this steams the pepper further and make removing the blackened skin easier. Remove from the bag to a bowl of very cold water and remove the skin.
Roasted peppers can be laid out flat and stacked with waxed paper between each layer. Once you have 5-10 peppers slide them into a zip lock and freeze for the winter.

Roasted Celeriac

2 Celery roots, scrubbed with small roots removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 table spoons olive oil or butter
2 springs of Thyme
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper

Pat dry the roots and rub them with olive oil, setting them in a small baking dish and then into the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes or until they are completely soft. Turn them about halfway through.

While these are baking warm the olive oil/butter into a small pan and add the thyme sprigs and garlic, cooking and turning often until the garlic softens. Remove from heat and set aside, take out the thyme sprigs.

Halve the cooked celery root and drizzle with oil/butter garlic mixture. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.

Italian Dijon Green Beans

1 Pound of fresh beans washed and stemmed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons country-style Dijon
1 sprigs each of thyme, oregano, and marjoram
3-4 Basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

Steam beans for 3-4 minutes over boiling water until bright green but still crisp. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the beans and toss for a couple minutes and remove from heat. Mix together mustard and basil along with thyme, oregano and marjoram, leaves removed from the stems. Add the beans and toss until coated with the mixture. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, salt and pepper and serve

Maple and Vinegar Glazed Parsnips

2 pounds parsnips
One and a half tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon salt
half cup water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
one and a half tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Heat oven to 400. Wash parsnips and peel off rough parts. Cut a few inches off the thick end and half or quarter this so that all the pieces are roughly the same size. In an heavy oven proof pan toss parsnips in oil and salt and heat on top of the stove, adding water once the pan has begun to warm. Bring to a simmer and move the dish into the oven, continuing to cook until parsnips are tender, about 45 minutes. Turn them every 15 minutes and add water if needed. Once tender, drain remaining water and toss parsnips with maple and both vinegars to coat and return to the oven until golden brown.

This is a great recipe for carrots as well.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

1 washed sweet, skins on.
1 teaspoon olive oil, butter, peanut oil, or bacon grease
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Slather sweet potato in oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until soft all the way through, about an hour. Simple pleasures.

Sautéed Spinach and Pea Shoots

1 Tablespoon oil
½ pound spinach, chopped coarsely
¼ pound pea shoot, chopped finely
Dash of sea salt and fresh pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok on high until almost smoking. Add spinach and toss quickly until it starts to wilt, 15-30 seconds. Add the pea shoot and toss for another 15 second. Remove from heat to a serving dish and top with salt and pepper. Toasted sesame seeds are nice on top as well.

Enjoy the pea shoots chopped raw on salads too!

Grilled Leeks, Peppers, and Eggplant

Here are a few hints for grilling vegetables…

First start with a hot fire. Then marinate them a bit in olive oil, fresh herbs, and or balsamic vinegar.

Trim away roots and greens from the leek, leaving the white shaft. About 1 inch above the root end, cut through the leek lengthwise so that the root end is the only part holding the two halves together. Wash any soil from between the leaves and then cut the leek completely in half. If your leeks are more than three quarters of on inch in diameter, boil some water and blanch them in it for one minute. Smaller leeks generally don’t need blanching. Brush with olive oil and lay right on the grill for at least 4-5 minutes a side. Some blackening is ok as the heat will release the sugars in the leek.

Peppers can be done whole or halved with the seeds and veins removed. Either should be brushed with olive oil and put on high heat. To really roast peppers leave them on each side until the skin blackens and separates from the flesh. After the pepper is blackened all the way around put it immediately into a paper bag for 10 minutes, this steams the peppers further and make removing the blackened skin easier.

Eggplant can be cut into large rounds half an inch thick and oiled or roasted whole like the peppers. If you like baba ganouge (a middle eastern mixture of roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic and lemon) roasting eggplant like this is the way to make your own! Whether roasting or grilling the slices, be liberal with the olive oil and make the fire hot. Like the leek and the peppers, don’t be afraid of some blackening, the sweet richness of the vegetables will be complimented by the smokiness.

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes and Celeriac

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes and Celeriac

1 lb. celeriac, peeled and cut into chunks
1 lb. potatoes (peeled or unpeeled, your choice) cut into chunks
1 bay leaf
4 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup heavy cream
4 Tb. Butter
2 tsp. horseradish
salt and pepper to taste

Combine celeriac, potatoes, bay leaf, and garlic with water to cover; boil until just tender (about 20 minutes). Drain, remove bay leaf, and return vegetables to pot. Add cream, butter, and horseradish. Mash and season with salt and pepper. Makes 4-6 servings.

Creamy Leek, Potato, and Sour Cream Chive Soup

3 Tb. butter
2-3 leeks, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 tsp. dill
1 lb. potatoes, thinly sliced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup sour cream
4 Tb. chopped fresh chives, divided
salt and pepper

Melt butter in pot over medium-low flame. Add leeks and dill; cover and cook slowly, 15-20 minutes. Add potatoes and stock; bring to simmer, cover, and cook until tender, 10-15 minutes. Puree mixture. Return puree to pot; stir in sour cream and 2 tablespoons chives. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle each serving with additional chives. Makes 6 servings.

Warm Red Cabbage

1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion quartered and sliced thin
1 small red cabbage quartered and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
A few ounces goat or feta cheese
1 red apple
1 Tablespoon marjoram
1 Tablespoon Parsley
¼ cup pecans or walnuts
¼ olives (optional)

Heat oil in a wide skillet and add garlic, vinegar and onion. Sauté for 1 minute. Add cabbage along with a generous pinch of salt and toss over high heat. When the leaves soften and lighten in color remove from the heat and toss with the remaining ingredients. Season with fresh pepper and serve warm.