Big Leaf Farm

January 17, 2012

Winter season week#1 Recipes

Filed under: Recipes — Chris O'Brien @ 11:36 am

Black bean sweet potato chili

This is hands down our favorite chili recipe, and it’s become tastier now that we can grow almost all of the ingredients.  This makes a big pot of soup, so freeze some if you can’t finish it up in a day or two.

1 ½ – 2 cups dry black beans

1 sweet potato, baked or microwaved until just soft.  Don’t let it get too mushy, if you can help it.

2 t oil

3 cups diced onions

4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 T minced jalapeño chile

4 t ground cumin

4 t ground coriander

2 T fresh lemon juice

1 t salt

optional minced cilantro, and or grated cheese, and or sour cream for garnish and flavoring.


Soak the bean in an excess of water for 8-12 hours, until they are plump. Drain the water, and cover the beans with an inch or two of fresh water and bring to a boil, then lower the beans to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes.  Then sauté the onion, garlic and chile along with the spices in the oil and add to the beans. Peel the sweet potato and cut it into chunks and add to the soup. Let all this simmer until the beans are just tender (about an hour or so), adding enough water to keep it soupy.  Then add the lemon juice and salt (and adjust by taste).  Cook a few more minutes, then serve with cilantro, grated cheese and/or sour cream.

Turkish carrots with lentils and herbs

We always enjoy being served our own vegetables by friends.  We get to enjoy a new preparation with good company, the taste of our own veggies, and then we get a recipe to share with all of you.  This one is from my Mom.

1-2 T oilive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ t coriander.  Use powdered or crush whole seeds in a mortar

¼ to ½ t red pepper flakes

½ cup French green lentils (brown lentils work too, but the taste is, of coarse, different.

5 large carrots, sliced into matchsticks, or chopped

2 T tomato paste

2 t sugar (optional)

1 ¼ cups stock or water

black pepper to taste

2 T chopped fresh mint, parsley or dill

lemon juice to taste

Extra virgin olive oil added when serving (optional)


Saute the onion for 8-10 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a minute or two longer.  Next add the water and all the rest of the ingredients (except for the lemon juice and fresh herbs) and bring to a boil then simmer for 30-40 minutes or so, or until the lentils are tender.  Add the lemon juice and herbs according to taste, then add a few slugs of olive oil and stir in (optional) to richen up the soup.  Enjoy!


From “The Splendid Table radio show”.

Ukrainian Beet and bean stew

1 t vegetable oil

2 cups slice onions

½ cup chopped celery

3 cups water

3 cups sliced cabbage

1 cup sliced carrots

3 cups chopped potatoes

4 cups cubed raw beets (peel them first)

3 cups undrained whole tomatoes chopped (28 oz can)

2 t caraway seeds

2 T white wine or cider vinegar

½ t salt

2 cups cooked kidney beans

1 T dried dill

pepper and salt to taste

chopped scallions and yogurt or sour cream for topping (optional)


Heat the oil in a soup pan, then sauté the onions and celery until browned.  Then add one cup of water, bring to a boil, and simmer everything for 5 minutes.  Then add the cabbage and carrots and cook for 5 more minutes.  Finally, add the remaining two cups of water along with the potatoes, the beets, the tomatoes, caraway seeds and vinegar and salt.  Bring to a boil then simmer for half an hour or so until the beets and potatoes are soft.  Then add the canned beans and dill and season with the black pepper.  Top with the scallions and yogurt and serve!

From “Moosewood Restaurant Low-fat Favorites” by the Moosewood

December 13, 2011

Week #31 Recipes

Filed under: newsletter,Recipes — Chris O'Brien @ 12:54 pm

Rutabega Puff

You can cut the rutabaga with a little mashed potato if you like, or if your ‘bega isn’t quite large enough.


4 cups cooked mashed rutabaga, about 1 large (2 -3 pounds) rutabaga

4 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

1 teaspoon salt

pepper, to taste

dash paprika

4 eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 375.  Cube the rutabaga and steam or boil until tender and then mash.  Then combine it with the butter, dill, salt, pepper and paprika.  Then mix in the egg yolks.  Beat the egg whites until peaks form, then mix them into the rutabaga mixture, and then place it all in a 1 ½ quart casserole dish.  Bake it for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is firm and nicely brown.


Savory Rutabega Blue Cheese Custard


1 ½ lbs rutabaga

2 T butter, softened

3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

2 eggs

salt and pepper


Heat the oven to 350, then peel and chop the rutabaga and steam until tender.  Mash and mix with the butter and cheese and egg and bake in a small casserole dish or bread loaf, until set, about 30 minutes.

From “Asparagus to Zucchini” by Madison Area CSA coalition

Easy Butternut squash soup

2 T butter or oil

3-4 cloves garlic, mashed with side of knife

½ to 1 cup chopped onion or leek

2 ½ to 3 pounds butternut squash, halved, seeded, and baked until soft

4 cups stock

1 bay leaf

pinch of sugar

½ t (or more to taste) curry powder

pinch of nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups milk


Heat the oil or butter and fry the onion/leek and garlic.  Then puree or finely mash the butternut squash flesh and add the onion.  Then stir in the stock, bay leaf, sugar, curry, nutmeg, salt and pepper and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Fish out the bay leaf, add the milk and heat but don’t boil.  Serve immediately.

From “Asparagus to Zucchini” by Madison Area CSA coalition


Beet Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

½ t salt

2 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

3-4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate

4 eggs

¼ cup oil

3 cups shredded beets

Preheat the oven to 325, and grease two 9 inch cake pans.  Mix the dry ingredients, then melt the chocolate, and combine it with the eggs and oil.  Combine the flour with the liquid, adding the beets in small batches.  Pour into the pans and bake until the center is firm (a fork or toothpick comes out clean), about 40-50 minutes.

From “Asparagus to Zucchini” by Madison Area CSA coalition

Couscous Tagine with Caramelized Butternut Squash

This unusual Moroccan dish is sure to wow holiday guests.  Or just keep it to yourself and prepare it for your family to enjoy alone!  Cook this in a heavy pot (cast iron is best) with a tight-fitting lid.

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1 onion or leek, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch piece ginger, minced

1 ½ t ground cumin

2 t ground tumeric

2 3-inch thick cinnamon sticks

1/3 cup chopped pitted prunes

1 ½ cups canned stewed tomatoes

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup couscous

1-2 lb butternut squash, but into ½ inch thick slices


Peel and cut the squash in half and remove the seeds.  Then cut the squash in ½ slices and cut these slices into manageable chunks.  Fry the squash pieces in the oil on one side until golden brown, then flip them and add the onion.  Cover and cook for about 5 minutes on medium-low heat.  Then add the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for a couple more minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the dried fruit, tomatoes, stock and chickpeas and bring to a boil.  Simmer until everything is tender, then add the couscous and turn off the heat.  Put the lid on and allow the couscous to cook on the retained heat and absorb the liquid.  Taste and adjust for salt and pepper and serve.

Adapted from “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” by Mark Bittman.

December 6, 2011

Week #30 Recipes

Filed under: newsletter,Recipes — Chris O'Brien @ 12:20 pm

Potato, Turnip and parsnip gratin

2 T butter

1 t minced garlic

½ t dried thyme

1 ½ T white flour

1 ¼ cups warmed milk

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

½ lb potatoes

½ lb parsnips or carrots, or a combination

½ lb turnips

1 cup minced shallot or onion

1 cup bread crumbs

½ cup grated Swiss cheese


Melt the butter and add the garlic and thyme, then whisk in the flour to form a paste.  Then add the milk, mixing until the lumps dissolve.  Add the bay leaf, then lower the heat and cook very gently until the milk thickens.  Remove the bay leaf and add some salt and pepper, and set this part aside.  Then preheat the oven to 375º F and grease a 2 quart gratin pan.  Cut the veggies into 1/8 inch slices.  And slice or mince the onion or shallot.  Spread all these veggies in a single mixed layer in the pan and season with salt and pepper.  Then pour the sauce over the top, cover the pan with foil, and bake for one hour, or until the veggies are soft.  Then remove the gratin and uncover and turn on the broiler.  Add the bread crumbs and grated cheese to the top of the gratin and broil until the cheese is melted and crusty.  Enjoy!

Adapted from “The vegetable dishes I can’t live without” by Mollie Katzen

Squash Malagushim

Serve over rice or any other grain

1/3 cup dried shredded coconut (unsweetened)

½ cup hot water

1 t ground cumin

½ cup yellow split peas

1 cup water

2 ¼ lbs winter squash (about 6 cups) peeled and cubed

½ t turmeric

½ t salt

1 t black mustard seeds

2 t oil


Cover the coconut with almost boiling water and add the cumin.  Then cook the split peas in 1 cup of water until they soften.  While they are cooking, peel and cube the squash in ¾ inch chunks.  Cook this in as little water as possible, or steam it, or cook in the microwave.  Then mash the split peas in their cooking liquid and puree the coconut and soaking water.  Add this to the peas, then add the squash and simmer everything for a few minutes.  In a heavy skillet, cook the mustard seeds in the oil with a cover.  When the popping dies down they are ready.  Remove them, add them to the squash, mix well, and serve.

From “The New Laurel’s Kitchen by Robertson, Flinders and Rupenthal

Navy Bean and Celeriac  Soup

This is nice accompanied by rice or another grain such as millet or quinoa

1 cup navy beans, picked over, washed and drained (or one 15 oz can navy beans).

1 celeriac, peeled and cut into ¼” cubes

1 medium onion, peeled and cut like the celeriac

1 15 oz can of peeled tomatoes (whole or crushed)  If whole, chop them.

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup fresh chopped parsley

¼ t dried rosemary

¼ t dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste

4 t vinegar or lemon juice

2 T olive oil


If using dried beans, soak them 8 hours or so in 4 cups of water, then cook them until tender, about 1 hour.  Otherwise, open a can of canned beans, drain and rinse them.  Don’t cut yourself on the sharp metal.  Add the celeriac, tomatoes, onion, garlic, parsley and dried herbs to the beans along with 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes, covered.  Then add the salt, pepper, the oil and the lemon juice and cook for another 15 minutes, or so, this time uncovered.  Stir it occasionally, mashing the beans against the side of the pot.  If it is too thick, don’t be afraid to thin with a little water.

From “Madhur Jaffrey’s World of the East vegetarian cooking.

Eliot’s Breakfast Parsnips

I’ve given this out in years past, but I think this simple preparation is worth repeating.  It’s a very simple, unusual, and tasty breakfast preparation!


3 T unsalted butter

1 lb parsnips, peeled and sliced into thin rounds

½ cup toasted chopped walnuts or pecans

warm maple syrup


Melt the butter and gently cook the parsnips rounds until they caramelize in the heat. This should take from 7-10 minutes. Then serve with the nuts and maple syrup. Out of this world!


From “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” by Deborah Madison

November 29, 2011

Week #29 Recipes

Filed under: newsletter,Recipes — Chris O'Brien @ 12:46 pm

Spicy Chicken and sunchoke stir-fry.

This recipe was sent to me by CSA member Rose (my sister).  She reports that it is great with tofu substituted for the chicken.  The original recipe called for 6 cups of broccoli.  I’ve substituted this with chopped Asian greens.  You could also add carrot and or daikon radish to this dish.  Add the carrot with the sunchockes and the daikon with the asian green.

Make your own peanut sauce by combining the following ingredients (or use a prepared peanut sauce):

3 T unsweetened peanut butter

2 T rice wine vinegar

1 T chopped cilantro

1 garlic clove, pressed or minced

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 t light brown sugar

½ t chile oil



For the stir fry:

8  ounces  wide rice stick noodles

2  tablespoons  vegetable oil

4  cups  vertically sliced onion

3  garlic cloves, minced

1  pound  sunchokes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (peeling is optional)

1  pound  skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips

3  T  peanut sauce

2  T  soy sauce

2  T  natural-style peanut butter

6 cups chopped asian green, stems and leaves chopped together.

¼ to ½ cup water

1/2  teaspoon  crushed red pepper


Cook the noodles, then drain and keep warm.  Heat the oil in a wok or heavy skillet and fry the onion and garlic.  Then add the sunchokes and chicken (or tofu) and cook over high heat for 4-5 minutes.  Then  remove from the heat and stir in the peanut sauce, soy sauce, and peanut butter and continue to cook over medium heat for another 4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the chopped asian green, a little water, and crushed red pepper and cover for a minute or two to steam everything, then remove the lid and cook off the liquid in another few minutes, until the stems of the greens are tender.  Serve over the noodles.

Adapted from

Creamy Sunchoke soup


2 T butter or oil

1 large onion, sliced

1 lb Jerusalem artichokes, trimmed and cut into chunks.

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

½ cup white wine

3 cups stock

1 cup cream or sour cream


Melt the butter and sauté the onion, garlic and sunchoke 5-10 minutes, until the onion is soft.  Then add the wine and cook for a minute more, then add the stock and simmer until the sunchokes are tender. Use an immersion blender or standard blender to puree the soup, and add the cream and adjust the taste with salt and pepper just before serving.

From “How to cook everything vegetarian” by Mark Bittman

Pickled daikon radish (and carrot).

This is another member inspired preparation – this one comes from Harper who picks up in SE.   The carrots are optional.  Taste them every few days after you place them in the fridge to pickle.  A week is probably an optimal amount of time for most taste buds.

1/2 lb. carrots -shredded in food processor, sliced in thin rounds or thin match-like strips.

1/2 lb. daikon radish – cut same as carrots.

3 cups hot water

3 T rice vinegar

2-3 tablespoons sugar, depending on how sweet you want your pickles

2 T salt


Cut up the daikon and carrot and fill up a mason jar or two for which you have a tight fitting lid.  Mix up the vinegar-water solution and dissolve in it the sugar and water.  Pour this mixture over the vegetables, screw on the lid, and place in the fridge for at least 3-4 days, or up to a week before you eat them.  These will go on to last for a long time in the fridge.  They make a great sandwich topping!

Raw beet slaw

This is outstanding with a mix of the yellow and chioggia beets.  The cold weather has brought out some surprising sweetness in these tasty roots.


2 large shallots, or 1/3 to ½ half of a red onion, very finely shopped or shredded.

2-3 beets, peeled and shredded.

2-3 carrots, shredded

1 T minced or finely shredded ginger

2 t Dijon mustard

1 T peanut oil

2 lime juice or rice wine vinegar

¼ cup chopped cilantro


Shred the onion, beet, carrot ginger (and daikon if using) and toss with the rest of the ingredients.  You can eat this right away, but I think it gets better if it sits for a few hours.


From “How to cook everything vegetarian” by Mark Bittman

November 22, 2011

Week #28 Recipes

Filed under: newsletter,Recipes — Chris O'Brien @ 1:18 pm

Chicory Risotto

This is our favorite cooked chicory recipe.  It minimizes the bitterness of the chicory.  To reduce it further, add all the chicory at the first addition, as further cooking takes the bitterness away.

4 T olive oil

1 medium onion (or leeks)

1 ½ cups Arborio rice.

1 head chicory, cut into long slices

salt and pepper

parmesan cheese

1 cup white wine or pale ale beer

~ 5 cups vegetable broth


Wash the chicory and drip or spin dry. Cut off the base of the plant and then slice across the plant, creating long thing ribbons, including both the outer leaves (if any) and tender blanched inner ones. Sauté the onion in the oil until translucent, then add the rice and stir until coated. Then add the beer or wine and stir until it is absorbed. Start adding small amounts of the broth, and allow it to cook in each time. After 8-12 minutes, add ¾ of the chicory. Stir it in and continue adding the broth until the rice is tender. At this point season with salt and pepper and add the remaining chicory and a healthy dose of parmesan cheese and stir in. Serve immediately.

Self- braised chicory

2 t olive oil

1 chicory (or two small ones).

½ t unsalted butter (optional)

½ t minced garlic

1 T golden raisins

salt and pepper


Trim the bottom of the chicory, chop it coarsely, then rinse it and spin or pat dry.  Heat the oil in heavy skillet, melt the butter (if using), and cook the garlic briefly.  Then add the chicory and sprinkle it with salt, then toss a couple of times and cover the pan.  Cook for about 5 minutes, then remove the cover and turn again until the chicory is nicely wilted.  Finally, stir in the raisins and cook for another 5-10 minutes or so, until most of the released liquid has evaporated.  Serve warm, hot, or at room temperature.

Adapted from “The vegetable dishes I can’t live without” by Mollie Katzen


White wine sauce with shallots

This sauce is nice over chicken (and perhaps turkey?) and fish.  I bet it would also be tasty over roasted root vegetables too.

1 T unsalted butter

3 shallots, finely diced

1 ¼ cups white wine (or pale ale for a more robust flavor)

1 ¼ cups stock (chicken or vegetable)

1 ¾ cup cream


Melt the butter then gently cook the shallots until they are soft and transparent.  You don’t want them to brown.  Next, pour in the white wine and scrape the pan, then turn up the heat until the volume is reduced by half.  Add the stock, and then simmer it, reducing the volume to 1/3 cup.  Finally add the cream and reduce it further, until it thickens so that it coats the back of a wooden spoon.  If you want a smooth sauce, pass it through a screen, otherwise use as is.

From “Sauces.  Le Cordon Bleu Home Collection”

Panfried pumpkin with tomato sauce


¼ cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed or corn

2 lbs pumpkin chunks (peel, seed and cut the pumpkin into chunks)

salt and pepper

1 large onion, chopped

2 T minced garlic

2 T minced jalapeño pepper or dried pepper flakes to taste

½ cup red wine, stock, or water

3 cups canned chopped tomatoes (include the liquid)

chopped parsley for garnish


You’ll need a large pot with a tight-fitting lid, ideally a Dutch oven or deep skillet, but a heavy bottomed stock pot will do.  Heat the oil then add the pumpkin, being careful not to overcrowd them, cooking the pumpkin in batches, first for 5 minutes or so after sprinkling with salt and pepper, then turning and cooking the other side.  Transfer them to a plate and cook another batch until all the pumpkin is cooked.  If there is a lot of oil left after cooking the pumpkin, pour it off except for 2-3 tablespoons and cook the onion, garlic and chili pepper.  Cook this until the onion is soft and pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the brown bits from the bottom.  Boil this to reduce the liquid a little, then add the tomatoes and juice and cook for about 10 minutes until it thickens a little.  Finally, add the pumpkin and bring everything up to temperature, then reduce it to a simmer and cover, stirring every so often until the pumpkin is tender but not mushy.  Taste for salt and pepper, garnish with parsley if you wish, and serve!

From “How to cook everyting vegetarian” by Mark Bittman

November 15, 2011

Week #27 Recipes

Filed under: newsletter,Recipes — Chris O'Brien @ 12:55 pm

Apple Roasted Sweet potatoes and Winter Squash

This would probably be excellent with other root vegetables.  If you don’t have any squash kicking around you could try rutabegas instead.  Or hold on to your sweet potatoes until next week when I’ll give out winter squash again.

1 ½ lbs winter squash

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 T olive oil

2 t chopped fresh rosemary or 1 t dried

~1 ½ cups apple cider

salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and peel the squash, open it up, and remove the seeds.  Cut it into chunks.  Peel the sweet potatoes and cut it into chunks too.  Toss the veggies with the oil and rosemary and layer them in a baking dish so they form one layer.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pour in enough apple cider to reach halfway up the vegetables.  Bake until the vegetables are tender and the juice is reduced to a glaze, 40-50 minutes.

From Asparagus to Zucchini by the Madison Area CSA coalition.

Sweet potato hash with Smoked Tofu and Red Onions

1-2 T extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups minced red onion

2 lbs sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced

2 t minced or crushed garlic

salt and pepper to taste

about 4 ounces smoked tofu, cut into thin strips

Balsamic vinegar

Hard boiled eggs cut into wedges (optional)


Cook the sweet potato whole by baking, boiling or in the microwave oven.  Make sure you poke holes in it first with a fork so it doesn’t explode.  Cook them only until they start to soften; sweet potatoes of different sizes take different lengths of time to cook, so watch them carefully.  Next, in your largest fry-pan, sauté the onions in 1 T of the olive oil until they are soft and translucent.  Add a little more oil and add the sweet potatoes, garlic, and salt and cook the sweet potatoes until they get crispy.  It helps if you have lots of room in the pan, so spread things out a bit while you cook the sweet potatoes.  If they are crowded they tend to get softer instead of crispier.  Finally, add the black pepper and tofu, and add more salt if needed.  Serve hot with warm balsamic vinegar drizzled over everything and garnished with egg wedges (if desired).

From “The vegetable dishes I can’t live without” by Mollie Katzen

November 8, 2011

Week #26 Recipes

Filed under: newsletter,Recipes — Chris O'Brien @ 3:26 pm

Roasted root vegetables with pear glaze

This is a very flexible recipe, so you can pretty much use your own combination of vegetables.  Beets are a good addition to this (you might want to cook it in it’s own pan to prevent it from turning everything else red), as is cleriac.  Since all root vegetables keep for at 2-3 weeks in the fridge, you can save some of each week’s share to have a nice diversity if you like.  Just make sure to store the vegetables dry, in a plastic bag in the coldest part of your fridge.  Perforated bags are the best, but if you don’t have them, just make sure there isn’t any standing water in the bag.  For example, I’m planning on giving out sweet potatoes next week, which would make a good addition to this.

1-2 T extra virgin olive oil

3-4 medium carrots

2-3 parsnips

1 rutabega or several turnips

2-3 sweet potatoes or several potatoes

1 cup pear nectar

¾ cup cider vinegar

2 T fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup honey

salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 and coat a 2-quart baking dish with olive oil.  Peel and cut the vegetables into similar sized pieces, so they all cook at the same rate.  Roast them in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until everything is soft.    While the veggies are roasting, in a small pan combine the pear nectar, vinegar, lemon juice and honey and heat to dissolve the honey.  Then reduce it down to about ½ cup by simmering for 20-30 minutes.  When it is ready it should be thick and coat the back of a spoon.  Season it with some salt and pepper and drizzle it over the vegetables in the baking dish, or drizzle it over individual servings on a plate.

From “The Vegetable dishes I can’t live without” by Mollie Katzen

Judy’s Squash soup

This soup was a revelation to me when my friend Judy first prepared it for us in Tucson.  It’s a great recipe, one I’ll always remember not only because it’s incredibly tasty, but also because we ate it just before leaving on a very memorable trip to ‘El Himalaya’ on the coast of Northwestern Mexico.  This is a winter staple in our house.


1 large winter squash (kabocha or butternut are best)

1-2 coarsely chopped onions

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

curry powder

vegetable or chicken stock


Roast or bake the squash.  If roasting, peel the squash (this is easier for butternut than kabocha), cube it, and place it on a glass baking dish along with the onions and garlic.  Then fill up the pan with broth, 1-2 inches deep.  Cook at 400 degrees until the veggies begin to brown.  Alternately, cut the squash in half and bake it cut side down on an oiled pan until soft, with the onions and garlic roasting on the side.  Then puree everything in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth, adding enough curry powder, salt and pepper to your liking.  If you’ve baked the squash you’ll want to remove the skin first, and use a little broth when you blend everything up.  This is nice served with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.

Tofu and Winter squash stew

2-3 onions or leeks

2 T roasted peanut oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 serrano or jalapeño chiles

1 T finely chopped ginger

1 T curry powder

1 t light brown sugar

3 T soy sauce

1 can coconut milk

1 kabocha or butternut squash, peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes

one ten ounce package of firm tofu, pressed and cut into ½ inch cubes

juice of one lime

1/3 cup raw peanuts

¼ cup chopped cilantro


Chop the leeks or onions, then fry them in some oil in a large soup pot until soft (~3 minutes).  Then add the garlic, the chiles, and the ginger and cook another minute.  Then add the curry, sugar and soy sauce and reduce the heat to medium and scrape the pan and cook a few more minutes.  Then add 3 cups of water, the coconut milk, squash, and the salt and bring to a boil.  Simmer covered for 15 minutes, then add the tofu and cook until the squash is done.  Taste for salt and add the lime juice.  While the soup is cooking dry roast the peanuts on a skillet or under the broiler and finely chop them.  Dress each bowl of soup with a little peanut sprinkle and some cilantro


From “Vegetarian cooking for everyone” by Deborah Madison

November 1, 2011

Week #25 Recipes

Filed under: Recipes — Chris O'Brien @ 1:37 pm

Is it too early for a winter salad?  This is more robust than a lettuce salad that helps remind us that we have a long winter ahead of us.


For the dressing:

3 T extra virgin olive oil

2 t cider vinegar

1 clove, minced garlic

2 t Dijon mustard

2 t berry jam

For the salad:

6 cups packed torn or coarsely chopped kale leaves

2 cups shredded raw beets

1 cup shredded carrot

1 cup shredded or sliced daikon radish (optional)

1 cup mandarin orange wedges (optional)

2 T salted roasted pumpkin seeds or 2 T roasted sliced almonds


Prepare the dressing, then wash and pick over the kale leaves, removing the thickest part of the stems.  Coarsely chop the kale leaves, then toss them with the shredded beets, carrot, and daikon radish and/or mandarin orange if using.  Dry roast the pumpkin seeds or almonds in a hot pan or under the broiler, and use them to top the salad.  Toss the salad with the dressing before you serve it.

Delicata Squash Rings

2 Delicata squash

1 ½ T olive or other neutral vegetable oil

salt and pepper

Warm sage and garlic butter (optional)


Either peel the squash or leave the skin on, and cut the squash into rings, so you have a bunch of donut-shaped pieces, each about 1/3 of an inch thick.  Remove the seeds, then heat the oil in a skillet and add the squash and fry, for about 6 minutes, until the squash is richly colored.  Then turn and cook on the other side.  You can also bake these squash rings and use less labor and oil.  When serving, season with salt and pepper and a little parsley, or the sage and garlic butter.


To make the sage and garlic butter, heat 2 T butter to boiling, then add 1 t dried sage.  Fry for 1 minute, then add 1 garlic clove, minced and cook for another minute.  Remove from heat and add 1 T of finely chopped parsley and season with a little salt and pepper.  Use this to dress your squash rings.

From “Vegetarian cooking for everyone” by Deborah Madison.

Delicata squash cooked with soy sauce

This Japanese preparation is appropriate for any winter squashy, even pie pumpkins.  It is easily scaled up using the proportions given below.  Don’t be afraid to reduce the sugar for a squash as sweet as delicata. This is great served over a grain that absorbs the broth.

1 lb of ¾” cubed winter squash, peeled or unpeeled

4 cups water

½ cup brown sugar

1 T soy sauce

½ t salt


Place the cubed squash into a pot with the water, sugar and bring to a boil and cook covered until the squash is just tender.  Remove the squash, then boil down the remaining liquid until you have ~1 cup left.  Add the soy sauce and salt and simmer, uncovered until the squash is soft to your liking.   Let the pumpkin cool in the liquid, then reheat before serving.

From “Madhur Jaffrey’s world of the east vegetarian cookbook”

October 25, 2011

Week #24 Recipes

Filed under: newsletter,Recipes — Chris O'Brien @ 2:48 pm

Spaghetti Squash with carmelized onions

and crispy sage leaves

2-3 T extra virgin olive oil

1 spaghetti squash

1 t butter (optional)

1 ½ cups minced onion

1 t minced garlic

½ t salt

black pepper, to taste

Crispy sage leaves for topping (optional)


Heat the oven to 425º.  Cut the squash in half and take out the seeds, then place them cut side down on a cooking tray and bake it until soft (~35-40 minutes).  Remove the squash and lower the heat to 375°.  When the squash has cooled a little, remove the flesh and separate the strands with a fork.  Put the squash flesh back on the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes to dry it out.  While the squash is cooking, fry the onions and garlic in the oil and butter (optional).  Cook the onions first for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and salt and cook for another few minutes.  Finally, add the onions and garlic to the squash on the tray and stir everything together.  Turn the oven down to 350 and bake for about 30 minutes until everything turns deep golden brown.  Top with black pepper and Crispy Sage leaves.


To make the crispy sage leaves you’ll need 16 to 20 fresh sage leaves and 1 T extra virgin olive oil.  Line a plate with a paper towel and then coat the bottom of a heavy pan with the oil and heat to a medium heat..  Add the leaves 3-4 at a time, pressing down each leaf with a fork for a few seconds, then flip each leaf and cook the back side.  The leaves shouldn’t get brown when you cook them like this; they’ll turn bright green as they cook. If they are getting brown, the pan is too hot. When done, place the cooked leaves on the paper towel.  They’ll get crispy as they cool

From “The vegetable dishes I can’t live without” by Mollie Katzen

Spaghetti squash pancakes

These work surprisingly well for breakfast, as well as serving as a nice side dish or entrée for lunch or dinner.

2 cups cooked spaghetti squash

1 cup minced onion

¼ cup unbleached white flour or rice flour

½ t salt

4 large eggs

oil for the pan

a little unsalted butter (optional)

Optional toppings: sour cream or plain yogurt or minced parsley


Bake the squash halves at 350 degrees, cut side down on a sheet until the skin can just barely be pierced by a knife (~30 minutes or so).  The squash should be tender but not too soft.  Then remove and cool to room temperature and remove the flesh to a strainer and squeeze out the moisture.  You should have approximately 2 cups of squash.

Separate the strands of the squash with a fork in a bowl and add the onion, flour and salt and beat in the eggs.  Then heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat and cook the pancakes, with a little butter or just the oil to keep things from sticking.  Cook the pancakes on each side for a good 8-10 minutes until nicely golden brown.  If they are getting burned, turn down the heat a little.  You can turn them repeatedly from side to side if necessary.  Top with the optional toppings or enjoy plain!

From “The vegetable dishes I can’t live without” by Mollie Katzen.

October 18, 2011

Week #23 Recipes

Filed under: Recipes — Chris O'Brien @ 1:33 pm

Pumpkin Risotto with fried sage

1 pie pumpkin

4 T olive oil, divided

6 ½ cups broth or stock

½ cup sage leaves, rinsed and patted dry

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 ½ cup Arborio rice

½ cup dry white wine

2 T butter

½ cup grated parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 425.  Cut the pumpkin in half, through the handle and remove the seeds.  If it’s hard to cut through you can microwave it whole for a few minutes until the skin softens.  Or cook it whole in the oven for 10 minutes or so before halving it.  Half of the pumpkin will get cooked as is.  The remainder needs to be peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes.  Then both are baked in the oven together.  The cubes are tossed with 2 T of the oil and roasted, and the other half of the pumpkin is cooked cut side down on a sheet.  The cubes will need to be stirred occasionally when cooking and should take 25 minutes or so to cook until tender.  Remove the cubes, then cook the other half of the pumpkin until it is soft all the way through, maybe for 45 minutes to an hour.  Remove it, allow it to cool, then scoop out the flesh and mash it in a bowl.

Heat the stock to a simmer, then heat the rest of the oil in a heavy pan and fry the sage leaves until they are golden brown.  Remove the sage to a paper towel, then fry the onions for 5-10 minutes and stir in the rice and cook for one minute.  Then add the wine and stir until absorbed by the rice. Then add a small amount of warm stock and cook, stirring until it is absorbed.  Add the mashed pumpkin, and continue adding the stock in small batches for 15 minutes or so, until the rice is done.  You might not use all of the stock.  Finally, add the cubed pumpkin, the butter and the parmesan and season the dish with salt and pepper.  Serve each bowl with a sage leaf on top.

From “The farm to table cookbook” by Ivy Manning

Celeriac carrot slaw

1 celeriac bulb

2-3 large carrots

2 cloves garlic or shallot

2 T sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, or lemon juice

¼ t salt

2 t Dijon mustard

1/3 cup olive oil

1 T sour cream

black pepper


Peel the celeriac, then grate it with a box grater.  Grate the carrots and toss with the celeriac.  Then mix the garlic (or shallot) with the vinegar, salt, and mustard.  Then emulsify the olive oil while whisking it until the dressing is smooth and thickened.  Add the sour cream and pepper to taste and toss with the vegetables. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes before serving.  It’s better the next day.

From Asparagus to Zucchini by the Madison Area CSA Coalition


Celeriac Potato Green Chili soup

1 large onion, sliced

2 T butter or oil

1 celeriac, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds

1 ½ t chopped fresh thyme (substitute ½ to ¾ t dried)

3 potatoes, peeled and sliced as the celeriac

4 ½ cups whole milk.  For a less rich version, you can substitute broth or stock, although the effect will be quite different.

½ cup roasted peeled, seeded and chopped poblanos or Anaheim chilis.  An easier alternative is to you one small can of diced green chiles.

2 t salt

½ t black pepper

2 t sugar

1 T rice wine vinegar.

Sauté the onions until soft, then add the celeriac and thyme and cook for 5-10 more minutes.  Add the potatoes, milk and chiles and simmer until everything is soft.  Blend until smooth then season with the spices, sugar and vinegar.

From Asparagus to Zucchini by the Madison Area CSA Coalition


Korean carrot and radish salad

Salting the radish removes its heat, but not it’s flavor.

1 medium size carrot, julienned
1/2 lb. black radish, peeled and julienned

1 T sesame oil
1 T rice vinegar
1 t soy sauce
1 t tablespoon sugar
pinch cayenne

Put the carrot and radish in a strainer.  Mix in the salt and allow it to sit for 1 hour.  Then press out remaining liquid.  Mix up the dressing, toss, and serve.  This is also better if it sits for a while, even overnight.

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