Categories
Cilantro Garlic Jalapeno peppers lettuce Onions Radish

Thai Pork Larb


Words and photos by Amanda Callahan of Callywood Farms
Inspired by: 
NYTimes and here

If you’ve been to a Thai restaurant, chances are you’ve seen this iconic dish on the menu — and for good reason! It combines the best of sweet and savory elements with textures that run the gamut from soft to crunchy. At its core, larb is a Laos-based meat salad that is then spiked with all sorts of ingredients making it a cinch to prepare — and to customize to your preferences. I used pork, but you can also incorporate beef, chicken, turkey, tofu, or even mushrooms. Add-ins are flexible too, such as lime juice, cilantro, peanuts, chile peppers, fish sauce and other condiments. The more variety you add, the more the resulting flavors will mingle and meld into a truly palate-pleasing experience.

For me, the distinguishing characteristics of larb are the combination of lime juice, fish sauce, and ground toasted rice. The toasted, ground rice can be difficult to make without the right tools – a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder will do. If not, skip the step! It won’t be as authentic of an experience, but will still produce a tasty dish! 

Ingredients

  • 1 large red onion or 3 shallots, divided per instructions below
  • Hot water – between ½ cup – 1 cup
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons jasmine, basmati or long grain white rice 
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup lime juice (2-3 limes, juiced)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper or fresh chilis, sliced, quantity to taste
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

For serving

  • Butterhead lettuce, outer/large leaves removed for cups
  • Radishes, chopped
  • Pickled jalapeños/peppers and the onions 

Instructions
1. With the onion/shallots – you want half of it sliced for pickles and the other half finely minced to cook with the meat. Prep as so.  

2. For the pickles: put the sliced half of the onion in a large bowl. Add the red wine vinegar and salt, and cover with hot water. Set aside. 

3. For the larb: place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the rice, swirling to coat it with oil and allow to toast. It should only take a few minutes for the rice to take on a golden, almost brown hue. Remove and grind using a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder. You’re aiming for a textured powder-like consistency. Be careful not to over do it with the coffee grinder. Set aside.

4. In the same pan, add the oil. Once it is heated, add the remaining diced onion. Sauté for a few minutes to soften, add the garlic, sauté another minute until fragrant, and season with salt and pepper. Add the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and cooked through, about 7-8 minutes. Add additional heat, if desired, with crushed red pepper or fresh chilis. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

5. To a small bowl, add the lime juice, fish sauce, and honey. Stir to combine. 

6. Set up with lettuce cups and toppings.

7. When the meat has cooled a bit, pour the reserved lime juice/fish sauce on top, combine with chopped cilantro and taste to adjust seasonings. Add more salt, pepper, or heat as needed!

8. Scoop large spoonfuls of larb into lettuce cups, top with pickled onions, radish or other toppings you desire. Serve with steamed rice if you’d like.

Categories
Bacon Carrots Celery Garlic Olive Oil Onions Potatoes Recipes Turnips

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup with Guanciale and Celery Salad Topping

Words and photos by Amanda Callahan of Callywood Farms

Ready for another super easy, super versatile and super delicious recipe? Keep on reading! I love roasted turnips: the cooking process brings out the sweetness of this misunderstood root veggie and makes them approachable for those who shy away. That said, turnips do tend to have a “love ‘em or hate ‘em” reputation, so I wanted to make something that would be appealing to fans and could-be fans alike. Soup seemed a natural place to start with its cozy vibe well-suited for our current cold temperatures.

But, how could I make unconvinced turnip eaters more interested? Enter the ever-popular garden darlings: potatoes and carrots. By pureeing and blending the turnips with these beloved add-ins, you get the best of both worlds: full, rich flavor without the pronounced turnip twang. Win!

If you’re still unsure, let me give you a little firm-but-polite nudge. Put your support-the-farmers-money-where-your-mouth-is, step outside your comfort zone and bring a variety of vegetables and meat cuts into your home. Buy the turnips, grab and cure the pork jowl and let’s get these overlooked items onto your plate! 

Pro tip: Save all your resulting veggie peelings to make stock. Keep a freezer bag in your freezer and add onion, carrot and celery peelings/ends until it’s full. Mushroom stems, some potato peelings and herbs stems are other great additions, but steer clear of brassica items (cabbage, kale, broccoli, etc.). Once the bag is full, add to a large pot or stock pot with leftover bones, cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer on low for three to four hours (or longer if you wish). Add water as needed to keep ingredients covered while they cook. Strain and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
2 turnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 pounds carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large onion or several small, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, leaves removed and saved, cut into large chunks
2 heads of garlic
1 handful of roasting blend of fresh herbs, chopped (or more to taste)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 slices guanciale or thick-cut bacon, sliced into lardons (small strips or cubes)
6 cups stock
½ lemon, juiced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. On a large rimmed sheet pan, layer all the vegetables in a single layer, using two pans if you must (you won’t get the charred edges with an overcrowded pan). Drizzle with oil, season aggressively with salt, pepper, and herbs. Toss to coat. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until charred in spots, flipping and rotating pan halfway through cooking time.
  3. While the vegetables cook, mince the celery leaves and place in a small bowl. Add lemon juice and cracked black pepper. Mix thoroughly, set aside.
  4. In a large soup pot set over medium heat, crisp the jowl or bacon pieces. Remove from heat, set aside. Remove all but 1-2 tablespoons of the fat from the pot. 
  5. When the vegetables are done, place in a high-power blender with 2 cups of stock and puree until smooth. Alternatively, put vegetables and stock into the soup pot and use an immersion blender to puree.
  6. Pour the puree into the soup pot and set to low heat. Add the rest of the stock and simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Adjust seasoning to your liking.

To serve: ladle soup into bowls. Top each with crispy guanciale or bacon pieces and a scoop of the celery leaf salad. I also was thinking a chili oil would perk it up nicely as well. Enjoy!

Substitutions: The vegetables are pretty interchangeable here. Try rutabaga, squash — whatever you’ve got in the fridge that needs to be used. If you’re vegetarian/vegan, replace the pork with chickpeas roasted in a hot oven until crispy and browned.

Categories
Carrots Garlic Ginger Onions Pumpkin Sausage Squash Sweet Potatoes

Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup

Recipe and Photos by Blueridge Brinery

This is a rich and flavorful way to incorporate an abundance of nutritious foods, many of which can be sourced through CAFE. It features silky coconut milk, tender root vegetables, seasonal pumpkin and more in a hearty curry-spiked broth. Local sausage and creamy lentils add depth and protein, but you can omit the meat for an equally tasty vegetarian spin. 

Ingredients
2 pounds squash or pumpkin, peeled, seeded and diced
1 pound pork sausage
2 to 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 to 3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup dried Lentils, rinsed (substitute split peas if desired)
1 large or 2-3 small/medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2-inch ginger, freshly grated
1-inch turmeric, freshly grated
Crushed red pepper to taste
A few tablespoons of Thai curry powder or paste to taste

Boil 8 cups water, add pumpkin (or squash) and simmer until very soft, about one hour. Add the sweet potatoes, carrots, lentils, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric and crushed red pepper. Simmer until lentils and sweet potatoes are soft, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Add curry powder or curry paste to taste, and chopped greens or green onions and sweet peppers if desired. Simmer to allow flavors to mingle. Use this time to brown and crumble the sausage.

After all vegetables are tender, add one can coconut milk to the soup. If you like it a little sweet, you can add some sugar or honey to taste. Finally, add in the browned sausage.

Serve garnished with kimchi.

Categories
Baked Food Garlic Olive Oil Onions Parmesan cheese Recipes Sausage Sweet Potatoes

Sheet Pan Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Recipe & photos by Amanda Callahan of Callywood Farms
I’m a big fan of “sheet pan” meals — those glorious, easy-peasy all-in-one dishes perfect for quick and healthy dinners. They are incredibly versatile and (mostly) require minimal attention. Think of them as an ideal “clean out the fridge” technique great for pairing local ingredients you often don’t know what to do with: combine proteins, veggies, and starches however you feel moved. I love putting fresh greens on the top toward the end of cooking, too, like in this recipe! 

My friend recently passed along a huge sweet potato from his garden, and I had a bunch of radicchio that I honestly didn’t have a plan for but was excited to use. I thought both would pair well with sausage and debated how to proceed. I was leaning towards a soup, but then remembered I had a couple packages of cauliflower gnocchi in the freezer, and I LOVE roasted gnocchi. Whether it’s frozen cauliflower gnocchi or the shelf stable potato based gnocchi, if you haven’t tried roasting it, you’re missing out my friends! Gnocchi is traditionally boiled like pasta, but when roasted the edges become brown and toasty taking on a nutty flavor that is perfection when paired with fall flavors like sweet potatoes and sage. 

Try this easy sheet pan meal this week and make sure to snap a pic and tag us on social media! 

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced 
  • 1 onion, sliced 
  • 2 packages of cauliflower gnocchi (10 oz each), frozen, or 1 package of potato gnocchi (16 oz.)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (about 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper)
  • About 10 sage leaves, chiffonade (sliced thinly)
  • 2 stalks of rosemary, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 bunch of local radicchio, sliced into ribbons
  • Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Use two sheet pans (pictured here is just one, however, my sheet pans are full sized and most people have half sized, so use two for better browning of ingredients) and cover each with a Silpat mat, parchment paper, or aluminum foil.
  3. Place sweet potatoes, onion, and gnocchi onto the pans. Drizzle everything with two tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, sage, rosemary, garlic, and two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Toss everything to combine. Spread out evenly. Break up the sausage with your hands and nestle small pieces of the sausage among the potatoes and gnocchi.
  4. Place it in the oven for 25 minutes. The sweet potatoes and gnocchi should be beginning to brown.
  5. In a small bowl, toss the radicchio with the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. 
  6. Remove pans from the oven. Toss all the ingredients on the sheet pans. Scatter radicchio on top. Place back in the oven and cook for an additional five minutes until the radicchio starts to crisp on the edges. 
  7. Remove and serve with cheese and crushed red pepper, if desired. 
Categories
Recipes

Recipe Inspiration For Your Thanksgiving Table

Amanda Callahan of Callywood Farms shares a beautiful lineup of tasty recipes to inspire you as you plan your menu.

For a local appetizer spread, I’d start with a few different cheeses, toasted bread, pickles, and instead of picking up that charcuterie pack at Aldi, I’d instead opt for something a little different and make a Chicken Liver Pâté.It’s delicious with pickles and bread. Or for a veggie option, how about bread schmeared with soft cheese, topped with thinly sliced radishes and finished with coarse sea salt and chives?

For themaincourse, try buttermilk brined roast chicken or turkey with herbs. Here’s a helper prepping primer for Master Buttermilk Brine. Pork fans should check out this fantastic option for Fresh Ham with Rosemary, Garlic, and Lemon.  Or, break the mold entirely with a rabbit pot pie or a delicious shepherd’s pie with beef or lamb. You could also make a Fall Root Vegetable Pot Pie with Sweet Potato Biscuits — a personal favorite! Delish! 

Of course, the real delight comes in the form of side dishes. Though a bit unconventional, these are wonderful ways to incorporate as many local ingredients as possible. Following those are traditional ingredients that can be sourced locally, too. 

You can’t go wrong with salads such as Favorite Kale Salad + Large Batch Shallot Vinaigrette or Butternut Salad with Cider Vinaigrette. In addition to salad greens, I’m thinking about spinach, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts! These are sensational ways to showcase the seasonal greens: Lemon Ginger SpinachRoasted Cabbage with Mustard VinaigretteRoasted Cabbage Salad with Brown Butter CroutonsThe BEST brussel sprouts. Non-green sides are welcome at the table, too. My go-to suggestions are Creamy Cauliflower Gratin and Leek Bread Pudding (the latter comes highly recommended from a friend and it will likely be on my table this year!). 

But, if you want to stick with traditional styles, these are great ways to bring local ingredients to your plate:

  • Grab some sausage and cornmeal to make a cornbread and sausage dressing. 
  • Pick up carrots for a carrot soup starter.
  • Instead of an apple sage dressing, swap the apples for persimmons!
  • Try goat cheese in your mashed potatoes.
  • Herb compound butter can be your chicken flavoring under the skin, but would go beautifully on cornbread or biscuits too!

Lastly, there are so many options for dessert! 

I insist on Brown Sugar Butternut Squash Pie, but a very close second is to skip the sweet potato soufflé as a side and make it into a pie — topped with marshmallows of course! I’m also tempted to make a persimmon pie with the last of the season’s beauties. And, you can’t forget the PECANS! I’m not a fan of pecan pie — gasp! — but I can do cookies and these Pecan Pie Cookies sound divine, especially if served with coffee around a fire for a late night treat.

Categories
Butter Garlic Olive Oil Rabbit Recipes

Beer and Herb Braised Rabbit

Recipe and photos by Amanda Callahan of Callywood Farms

As the seasons change, I begin to crave more substantial flavors. This dish is a beautiful collaboration of summer fresh herbs paired with a robust but light German wheat ale. The rich gravy served with mashed potatoes has the feeling of a more wintery meal, but is countered by the lightness of herbs and rabbit.

When I ordered the rabbit through CAFE, it arrived in a package of eight pieces, including the liver and kidney. I put the liver in the freezer to make pate in the coming winter months. 

The German wheat ale is from Pendleton Brewing Co., which opened last fall. Give it a try, or purchase your favorite local brew. If you choose a different beer to use in the braise, my only word of caution is to think about the balance of bitter and sweet. If you choose a hoppy IPA, I might be inclined to add a small amount of honey to brighten the dish. 

A note about the herbs and spices: I tried to create a fresh version of Herbes de Provence. I used one stalk each of tarragon, oregano, rosemary and lavender alongside several basil leaves and a few thyme stalks. This was my flavor profile, but you could use anything! If you don’t have fresh herbs, try a generous tablespoon of dried Herbs de Provence. If possible, grind your own coriander to impart a bolder flavor than pre-ground versions. Coriander is often used in brewing American wheat ales, and I thought it would add brightness to the German wheat ale while adding a level of flavor beyond the herbs. If you use ground coriander, I might just add a smidge more that the recipe dictates.

Beer and Herb Braised Rabbit

Ingredients: 
8 pc. rabbit (approximately two pounds)
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter, divided 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
1 onion, sliced
2 to 4 cloves of garlic,  minced 
2 heaping tablespoons fresh herbs OR 1 TB dried herbs (Herbes de Provence would be lovely)
1 (heaping) teaspoon coriander seeds, ground
1 1/2 cups of German wheat ale 
2 tablespoons flour

Directions:
1. Liberally season one side of rabbit pieces with salt and pepper. 

2. In a Dutch oven over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons each of the butter and oil. When the oil becomes fragrant, place the seasoned side of the rabbit down into the pan. Cook for 2 minutes without touching or disturbing the meat to create a nice sear. Season the face-up side of the meat with salt and pepper. Turn the meat over and sear the other side. Remove the meat from the pan to a clean plate. Set aside. 

3. Reduce the heat down to medium/medium low and add the sliced onion to the pan. Let the onion cook until translucent for about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic, coriander, and herbs. Stir to incorporate for another minute. 

4. Turn the heat up to high and slowly pour in the beer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow the beer to cook off the alcohol over high heat for a minute or two. You should see steam rising. 

4. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Add the rabbit back into the pan with any accumulated juices. Spoon the onion/herb/beer mixture on top. Cover with lid and allow the rabbit to cook for 20-30 minutes. This depends largely on how low you can go and how much the meat is already cooked from searing as to how long it will take! I checked mine right under 30 minutes and it was cooked perfectly; the meat had pulled from the leg bone. 

5. Meanwhile, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter (hopefully it has softened now) to a small bowl. Combine the butter and flour and mash with a fork to create a paste. 

6. When the rabbit is done, remove the meat from the pan to a plate (keep warm). With a whisk, add the butter paste and whisk into the remaining sauce and allow to simmer and thicken for about 3 minutes. Add the rabbit back to the pan! 

7. Serve over mashed potatoes, pasta, rice or with crusty bread – you will want to soak up all that rich gravy! 

Categories
Baked Food Beef Buttermilk Corn Cornmeal Garlic Milk Onions Peppers Recipes

Beef Tamale Pie Recipe

Words and photos by Amanda Callahan of Callywood Farms

Tamales are a flavor-packed staple in many Mexican kitchens (and other countries, too), but the process of preparation is fairly time-intensive. It requires preparing a filling such as meat, vegetables or a combination, and a wrapper, usually corn husks soaked in water to make them pliable, or banana leaves. Once filled, the bundles are steamed and finished with sauces and accoutrements. When you don’t have time to make them from scratch, this fantastic dish will give you the flavors and textures in a format more accessible to weeknight dinner. 

It features Mexican-spiced meat with a cornbread-like topping. As with the original inspiration, feel free to modify the protein in this recipe: pork, chicken and green chiles, mushrooms, black beans and corn, etc. all make stellar variations. You’ll have to adjust cooking times, but the possibilities are truly limitless.

Recipe note: The day before or morning that you want to serve this for dinner, start on the beef. You can either pressure cook or slow cook the roast. I actually used my pressure cooker to slow cook the beef. The reason I did this was to brown the meat in the pot first and not lose the flavor from the bottom. In addition to that, I can use my pressure cooker pot to reduce the sauce after cooking using the “sauté” function. 

Beef Tamale Pie

Ingredients
For the beef

  • 4 lb chuck roast
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, coriander
  • Oil 
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 10 guajillo chiles (dried poblano peppers), seeds and inside ribs removed, torn into pieces. You can find these in the Hispanic section of most markets, online or visit a Mexican grocery store.
    Substitutions: Ancho Chile, Pasilla Negro Chile, Cascabel Chile 
  • Cooking liquid (beer/wine, stock, water)


For the tamale pie

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup freeze dried corn
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
  • 2 limes, zested
  • 1 stick of butter, melted and cooled

Directions

  1. Refer to the recipe note above, and decide how you will cook your beef. Cut it into pieces, if needed, to sear. Season all sides with a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and coriander. In a hot pan or pressure cooker, coat the bottom in oil and sear until each side is deep brown and forms a crust. Use more oil and sear more pieces, if needed. 
  2. Add onions and garlic to the hot pan, and sauté for just a few minutes. Add chiles. Pour a cup of the cooking liquid into the pan (beer/wine is your choice here, if using, or use preferred stock or water), and use a study spoon to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom. Place the beef back in and spoon the onion/pepper mixture on top. Cover the beef with additional water/stock. Slow cook on low for 8 hours, or pressure cook for 60 minutes and let it naturally release. Shred the beef while still warm and allow to cool in the cooking liquid. If cooking the beef the day before, place it in the fridge (preparing a day in advance will get you the most flavorful meat). 
  3. About 60 minutes before you want to eat, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Remove beef from cooking liquid (you may have to warm it up a bit if it was in the fridge). Place the beef in a 13×9 baking dish. Place the cooking liquid over a boil and reduce it by ⅓-½ to concentrate the flavors. Puree the liquid using a blender or processor. You only need 1 cup for the rest of the recipe, but the extra sauce can go in the freezer as future enchilada or tamale sauce. I had about 4 cups of reduced cooking liquid. 
  5. Start the tamale pie. Heat a medium sized saucepan over medium and add some oil. Once the oil is warm, add and sauté the onion, peppers, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5-8 minutes until the onions are translucent and peppers are soft. 
  6. Empty the cooked vegetables over the beef. Add the corn and one cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Stir everything together and taste for seasoning. Mine needed additional salt and pepper. 
  7. Mix the cornbread topping: in a large bowl whisk together the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In a large measuring cup or another bowl combine the eggs and milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir. Add the zest and pour in the melted butter, continuing to whisk while doing so. Whisk until everything is uniformly combined. 
  8. Pour the cornbread over the beef mixture, and spread evenly with a spatula to each edge. 
  9. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes, or until the cornbread is lightly browned on top. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with your favorite Tex-Mex toppings if desired such as chopped cilantro, onions, sour cream shredded cheese, etc.
Categories
Baked Food Chicken Feta Garlic Onions Peppers Recipes

Greek Style Stuffed Peppers

Recipe and photos by Amanda Callahan of Callywood Farms

Make this delicious and filling end-of summer delight with plenty of CAFE ingredients!

6 large sweet bell peppers

1 tablespoon oil 

1 onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced 

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups cooked grains – rice, quinoa, millet (pictured)

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped OR 1 LB ground meat OR 1 can chickpeas

½ cup white wine or stock

1 lemon, juiced

 ½ cup dill, chopped

¼ cup Klamath olives, sliced

½ cup feta, plus more for topping and serving

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. 
  2. Start by slicing the thinnest layer off the bottom of the peppers so that they can stand up on their own. Then, slice the tops off in one piece, remove the seeds and white insides. 
  3. Set the peppers in a large baking dish. If you have a tall one with a lid, bonus! If not, foil will do the trick later on for a cover. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove. 
  4. While the peppers bake, start the filling. In a medium sized pan, heat oil over medium heat. If using raw ground meat, brown the meat in the pan until almost cooked through. Add the onion and sauté until starting to brown on the edges and translucent inside, about five to seven minutes. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Add tomato paste and combine. 
  5. Deglaze the pan with wine or stock, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom. Reduce the wine/stock until mostly gone. If using chopped meat or chickpeas, add them now and heat until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice, dill, feta and olives. Mix until combined. Set aside. 
  6. Fill peppers with the filling; you may have some left over (if so, keep and use as an addition to pasta sauce or perhaps a fun omelet filling!). Put the pepper tops back on. Pour ¼ cup of water in the pan and cover with foil or lid. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove lid. Bake for 15 minutes. 
  7. Remove from the oven and let cook for five minutes before serving. Serve with more feta cheese crumbled on top.
Categories
Eggplant Garlic Olive Oil Recipes Tomatoes

Silky Eggplant Pasta

by Amanda Callahan

Cooking eggplant well and pairing it with pasta hides the texture and highlights this adaptable vegetable. I love using the long purple variety; I find it less bitter and the skin is tasty, too, as long as it is cooked enough.

If you use the larger, Black Beauty variety, one tip to make it more palatable is to slice it in circles, lightly salt each one, stack them up and let them hang out together for about 20 minutes. This method seasons the eggplant, and the water that seeps out supposedly carries away any bitterness.

A note on the tomatoes: every year, I enjoy dehydrating tomato slices to use in sauces, salads, and even seasoned as “tomato chips” throughout the year. I’ve used them here. You can sub a jar of sun dried tomatoes from the store, but you can also roast cherry tomato halves in an oven for about thirty minutes, too!

Photo and recipe by Amanda Callahan

Ingredients

  • 1 pound long purple eggplant, cut into ½-inch slices
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to finish
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs thyme or oregano, chopped
  • 1 cup stock or water
  • 1 pound pasta, such as spaghetti
  • Handful of dehydrated tomatoes, chopped OR 4 sun dried tomatoes from a jar OR handful of roasted cherry tomatoes 
  • 6 to 10 leaves of basil, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Pour the oil into a wide, heavy saucepan, add the garlic cloves, and cook over low heat. It will take a few minutes to smell the aroma and hear the sizzle.
  2. When you smell and hear it, drop in your eggplant slices and herbs, and stir to combine. Turn up the heat to medium-high, add salt and pepper and stir. When the eggplant starts to turn translucent and soften, add the liquid and let it come to a boil. Turn it back down to low. Let it bubble for a bit. Stir once in a while, so the bottom doesn’t stick.
  3. While the eggplant is softening, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta to al dente.
  4. While the pasta cooks, check on the eggplant. The liquid should be mostly absorbed or reduced after about 20 minutes of cooking. Once it is fully soft, mash it up with a spoon or potato masher, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomatoes, half of the basil, and season again if needed. 
  5. Drain the pasta and toss with the eggplant sauce. Serve with basil, crushed red pepper, Parmesan cheese or a little more oil! 
Categories
Almonds Garlic Green beans Parmesan cheese Recipes

Crispy Cold Green Bean Salad

Recipe and photos by Amanda Callahan of Callywood Farms

It’s bean season, and this nice, cold summer side is a great way to take advantage of both the bounty and stock up on some of CAFÉ’s local ingredients. Trust the process of adding the salt to the water. It seasons the green beans from the inside out, rather than relying on the dressing for flavor. I didn’t even need to add salt to the dressing as the salty parmesan rounded it out nicely.

Be aware of timing as you prep; if you leave green beans in the ice bath too long the salt will leak out through osmosis, but you also want cold green beans. Just keep a close eye (and taste tester) handy. Once out of the bath, dry the green beans thoroughly – can’t stress this enough – or you’ll have a watery, soggy salad as opposed to a sharp, crisp one. 

I think this formula is very adaptable. Try swapping in and out cheeses (or none at all!), nuts, or add herbs for zing. You’ll find me eating cold green beans for the rest of the summer! Enjoy!  

Ingredients: 

·      2 lbs green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces (about 2 inches)

·      ½ cup kosher salt 

·      1 garlic clove

·      1 lemon, zested and juiced

·      ¼ cup olive oil

·      ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

·      ½ cup raw almonds

·      Salt and pepper

1. Prepare the green beans: Add the salt to a large pot of boiling water, the add the green beans and cook for 4 minutes. Gather a large bowl and fill it with ice water. After the beans are cooked, strain them from the hot water and place them immediately into the ice water to shock them, which retains the bright color and stops the cooking process. Once they are completely cold, drain and pat the green beans completely dry. Omitting this step will result in a watery salad.

2. Make the dressing by grating a clove of garlic and zesting a whole lemon into your large serving bowl. Juice the lemon into the bowl, and whisk in the olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper, if needed. Set aside. 

3. Toast the almonds over medium low heat, turning over to prevent burning, until fragrant, about five minutes. Chop them to bits. 

4. Add your very dry cold green beans to the bowl and toss with the dressing until combined. Top with chopped almonds.