Basic Pesto Recipe

To me, pesto is just a word for some green leaves, some ground up with some nuts or seeds, salt, oil and maybe some cheese or lemon or lime juice. It tastes great with all sorts of variations. Use the general proportions below and see what suits your fancy.  Or use whatever you need to use up from your share. I frequently throw in a mix of greens - a handful of basil, arugula and parsley, for example. You can use nuts or seeds or cheese, or not. As a general rule, green things in the brassica family, like cabbage and broccoli, get a bit on the smelly side when ground up. I usually steer clear of them for this use.

Ingredients

2 cups green leaves (basil, cilantro, arugula, wild picked amaranth, dill, mustard greens.......)

2 - 6 tablespoons nuts or seeds (walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds.......)

2 large cloves garlic or 1 garlic scape

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese

directions

Place nuts or seeds, cheese and garlic or scape in food processor. Pulse to chop finely. Add greens and oil. Pulse until smooth. Add a dash of lemon or lime juice to brighten the flavor, if desired, or pour it on top of packed pesto to maintain bright green color. 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Cakes


1 3/4 lbs sweets, peel & cut in lg pcs
2 tsp. butter or coconut oil
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tsp. tamari or soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 c unbleached all purpose flour
1 egg, well whisked
yogurt sauce
1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro or basil
pinch of salt and pepper

Steam the potatoes until tender. Cool. Warm the butter and saute the onion ~ 4 min. Cool. Blend the yogurt sauce ingredients in a food processor. Set aside. Transfer potatoes to a bowl and mix them with the tamari, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and flour to combine. Add the onion and egg and mix. Add butter to a pan and warm over med high heat. Make small, two tbsn patties and drop them into the hot pan, pressing down to flatten. Cook until well browned on each side, about 7-8 minutes. Remove to a paper toweled lined plate. Serve with some lightly dressed greens and a generous portion of the sauce. These would be so wonderful with a poached egg on top.

adapted from Yotam Ottelenghi's Plenty

Gazpacho

This recipes was contributed by shareholder, Erika Zeros. Especially great when made in advance and chilled well! I added a few notes for variation.
 

Perfect for high summer when the tomatoes are going crazy and it's too hot to cook! If multi-colored tomatoes are available be sure to include a few and chop them for beautiful contrast.

Makes about 10 cups

1 medium-sized cucumber
5 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes
1 medium-sized red onion, diced, about 1 C (white onion or scallions will work)
1 or 2 jalapeno or serrano chilies, seeded and minced.
1/4 C chopped fresh basil (can go with cilantro for a different flavor)
Salt and pepper
2 or 3 T Champagne or white wine vinegar

minced garlic (if desired)

A few basil leaves for garnish.


1. Peel the cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Dice and set aside.
2. Peel the tomatoes. (Boiling water method: Score the bottom of each tomato with an X. Drop into boiling water for about 10 seconds, just long enough to loosen their skins. Rinse under cold water to cool them, then slip off the skins.) Cut tomatoes in half and take out the core. Place a mesh strainer over a bowl. Over the strainer, squeeze out the juice and seeds. Save the juice to add to the soup and discard the seeds.
3. Puree half of the tomatoes in a blender or food processor and coarsely chop the rest. Combine all of the tomatoes, tomato juice, onion, cucumber, chilies, and basil in a large bowl. Scoop out about 3 cups of the combined soup and return to the blender to puree. Return puree to the large bowl.
4. Season with 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 2 tablespoons vinegar and stir well.
5. Refrigerate and let sit for at least 1 hour before serving, to allow flavors to develop. Add salt, pepper, and more vinegar if needed. Serve chilled. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Tip: if the soup is too acidic, add a few pinches of sugar to balance the flavors before serving.

Tomato Bruschetta

Ingredients:

4 medium tomatoes

1 T minced garlic

1/4 cup chopped basil (or to taste)

chopped parsley to taste

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice

salt to taste

hot pepper flakes (optional)

crusty bread

 

To Make:

For best results, I like to chop tomatoes, lightly salt and let them drain for 1/2-1 hour. I put the strainer over the bowl and use the juice to throw into soup or stew. Add all remaining ingredients, except bread, and it is ready! It is great refrigerated too. If I am in a rush, it is also great with freshly chopped tomatoes. Delicious served on sliced sourdough or french bread that has been drizzled with oil and crisped in the oven AND with a slice of fresh mozzarella. 

 

 

 

 

Zucchini Pizza Crust

I have tried many zucchini pizza crusts and this one was the most like crust, rather than casserole. It is quite easy to make and if you go into production mode, you can freeze some for a quick, easy meal later. Because it has cheese in the crust, I have been enjoying loading it with sautéed vegetables and olives. A nice layer or pesto spread on top or veggies with goat cheese are also great!

Ingredients:

8 cups shredded zucchini

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (try 4 stars from the farm shop!)

1 egg, beaten

1-2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

basil and oregano (fresh is best) chopped fine, to taste

salt

 

Heat oven to 450. If you have a pizza stone, heat it. Line pizza stone, pizza pan or baking sheet with parchment paper, or oil well and sprinkle with coarse corn meal. Combine all ingredients until well integrated. Press dough out to desired thickness. Bake in preheated oven until crisp on bottom and beginning to brown on top. Remove from oven, put toppings on and return until toppings are done, approximately 10-15 minutes. You may also freeze or refrigerate the crust at this point for later use. 

 

 

Lemon Basil Cake

This recipe is adapted from Trader Joe's Lemon Basil Cake. It is simply delicious. 

Ingredients:

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups Four Stars whole wheat pastry flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

 1 cup sugar (can use 1/2 cup if you know you like things less sweet or if you are definitely going to use glaze)

finely grated zest of 2 lemons

3/4 cup plain, vanilla or maple Sidehill yogurt OR sour cream (I like to bake with whatever dairy product needs to be used first)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil

2 large eggs

 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 - 1/2 cup finely chopped basil (look for lemon basil in perennial garden for double lemon whammy)

For the glaze:

½ cup confectioner's sugar

2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice

1 teaspoon milk or cream

 

Preheat oven to 350. Oil an 8 or 9" springform cake pan or a loaf pan. Mix yogurt, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add sugar, lemon zest and basil and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Pour into pan and bake 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool. If glaze is desired, whisk together glaze ingredients and drizzle over cake. Apprentice, John Dickens, highly recommends this step!

.

 

 

Carrot Top Pesto

This is what happens when your daughter grows up and joins her own CSA - you get new recipes! This recipe comes via the Intervale Community Farm, via Anna. Why didn't I ever come up with this one? I did add a few options for variety.

Ingredients:

2 cups carrot tops

1 cup basil leaves (can also replace some basil with more carrot tops or parsley)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cashews or other nuts

garlic and cheese (if desired)

Puree all ingredients together until smooth. Serve over pasta or whole grains, spread on bread or drizzle over steamed veggies.

 

 

 

 

 

Radish and Pesto Crostini

INGREDIENTS

1 baquette, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 cup of garlic scape, basil or cilantro pesto (see basic pesto recipe)

1 bunch or radishes (or turnips), thinly sliced

Coarse sea salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400. Brush baquette slices on both sides with olive oil. Bake on cookie sheet until golden brown, approximately 3-5 minutes per side.

Slather a bit of pesto on each slice of baguette, arrange a few slices of radish or turnip. Sprinkle with sea salt. Yum, perfect appetizer or side dish.

 

Ratatouille

This recipe comes from one of Brookfield Farm's first apprentices, Nicole, who brought the recipe home from southern France. It is a great July dish, as usually all of the vegetables are available. Serve alongside bread and cheese for a complete meal.

2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, cubed
1 medium zucchini or squash, cubed
1 eggplant, cubed
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 clove of garlic (i like to add more)
fresh parsley, oregano, basil

 

Saute the onion, garlic and pepper until soft; stir in eggplant and squash; add tomatos and seasoning; cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Voila! Serves 6.

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