This week your basket contains: leeks, onions, winter squash, beets, celery, Brussels sprouts, and ARUGULA.
One holiday gift we received recently is a beautiful book of vegetable recipes. This recipe for beets presents a new cooking technique in which the cooking liquid is integral to the dish as opposed to being discarded. We used less sugar than called for (and adjusted the vinegar to keep them proportional). We also had dried herbs so added them to the glaze to rehydrate instead of topping the dish as called for with fresh herbs.
BRAISED BEETS WITH LEMON AND ALMONDS
1 ½ Lbs. beets
1 ¼ cups water
Salt and pepper
3 Tbs. cider vinegar
1 Tbs. light brown sugar
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
½ cup toasted almonds, chopped
2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
Halve (or quarter) the beets and place them in a single layer in a Dutch oven. Add water and ¼ tsp salt. Simmer until beets are tender to a fork. Transfer the beets to a cutting board to cool. Meanwhile, increase heat and reduce cooking liquid until the pot is almost dry. Add vinegar and sugar, return to boil and cook, stirring constantly until the spoon leaves a trail when dragged through the glaze. Once beets ae cool enough to handle, rub off skins and cut into ½ inch wedges. Add beets, onions, lemon zest, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp pepper to the glaze. Toss to coat. Transfer to serving platter and sprinkle with almonds, mint and thyme and serve. Adapted from Vegetables Illustrated by America’s Test Kitchen.
Cold weather has left its mark on some of the Brussels sprouts in the form of blackening of the outer leaves. I find it relatively easy to deal with. After snapping the sprout from the stalk, I use a paring knife to cut the base off the sprout. If it has darkened outer leaves I make this cut a bit higher making it easier to peel the leaves off from the base. This is a recipe I like to make at this time of year.
FETTUCCINI WITH BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND PINE NUTS
1 stalk Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1/2 pound dried egg fettuccine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
Slice Brussels sprouts in a food processor fitted with slicing disk. Cook fettuccine in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente. Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook pine nuts, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then sauté over medium-high heat until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta and add to skillet, tossing with enough reserved water to moisten.
We have a good bed of arugula in one of the hoop houses. We had hoped it could be the basis of a salad mix, but other greens have not grown as well as the arugula which will go to flower if not trimmed back. Therefore, you get a tasty bunch of arugula! The bunches in your basket will be perfect for this recipe. You can chop celery leaves finely to substitute for the parsley called for
PASTA WITH ARUGULA AND GOAT CHEESE SAUCE
1 bunch of fresh arugula
4 springs fresh parsley
8 ounce low-fat yogurt or sour cream
1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 pound fusilli noodles
Grated parmesan cheese, as garnish
Before preparing sauce, fill a large pot with water, and bring the water to a boil. Wash and clean well the arugula and parsley. Dry thoroughly. Trim and chop both the arugula and the parsley. Place the arugula and the parsley in a food processor. Add the yogurt or sour cream, goat cheese, salt, and pepper. Blend the ingredients thoroughly. Keep the sauce at room temperature until ready to use. Add a pinch of salt to the boiling water, and cook the fusilli noodles following the instructions on the package. When the noodles are cooked, drain them, and place them in four serving dishes. Pour the sauce evenly over the top of each serving and add some cheese to each dish. Serve immediately. From A Complete Menu Cookbook for All Occasions by Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette