Monday, August 27, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Dip (or Spread)

We had some people over for a cookout yesterday, and I made this dip and some Vienna bread.  Even my friends who don't like peppers raved about it.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

2 red peppers
8 oz cream cheese
2 gloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

To roast the red peppers, cut them in half and seed them.  Then put them on a baking sheet, cut side down, and roast for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  They are done when the skins start to blacken and blister.  Put them into a casserole dish or bowl and cover it, and let cool for 20 minutes or so. Peel the skin off and discard.

Put the peppers, cream cheese, garlic, salt, and lemon juice into the food processor and process until everything is blended.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Marinara with Homegrown Tomatoes

I used to think of spaghetti as a cold-weather meal.  I had no idea how easy it was to make sauce for pasta from fresh tomatoes. This recipe is light enough for a summer meal. For heartier fare, we sometimes serve with meatballs or sausage.

My favorite marinara sauce came from the Vitamix web site, but it seems to have disappeared. Fortunately, I wrote down the few slight changes I made to the original, so here's what I do:

Marinara with Homegrown Tomatoes

Put the following into the blender container in the order listed:
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic or one clove elephant garlic
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into eighths 
  •  2 pounds fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano (or 1 tsp fresh)
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Blend on medium speed for 15-30 seconds.  Pour into a pot. Add a bay leaf and simmer for 30 minutes.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Pesto is amazing.  In the time it takes to boil your noodles, you can have a gourmet meal.

Put the following in the blender in the order listed:
2 cups basil leaves (or for a change of pace, try parsley)
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cups olive oil

Blend for a few moments at medium speed until it looks the consistency that you like it.  You may have to use the pusher to get all the goodies down to the blender blades.

Pour it over hot pasta.


This is how parsley pesto looks over tortellini.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Squash is IN! Grilled Summer Squash.

Sometimes, you just can't beat simple.

Grilled Summer Squash

Take one medium (fist-sized) squash per person, and slice into 1/4" slices. I used pattypan or lemon squash. Grill over high heat, turning frequently, until tender. You can spray the squash with cooking spray before grilling if it looks expedient.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Kale Salad

Kale is amazing.  I have only really been aware of kale in its different varieties since moving to the farm. And up to very recently, I have thought of greens as something to be braised.  Kale can be used in so many interesting ways. This recipe is really easy.

Kale Salad
1 8 oz. bunch of kale
1 clove garlic
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
5 Tbs olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 Tbs shredded Parmesan cheese + 1 Tbs to sprinkle on the top.

Chop the kale into 1/2 inch pieces.  Massage the kale with your fingers to soften it. Mince the garlic. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, and toss gently. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese.

For Thanksgiving, I dressed it up by tossing some toasted pine nuts on top and decorated it with hard cooked eggs, cut into quarters.