Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - July 31, 2013


Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun; Carrots; Beets; Beans; Cauliflower; Onions; Zucchini; Cucumber

And OUT of the bag:
Tomatoes / Garlic (packed in a small paper bag)

Localvore Offerings Include:
Les Almients Massawippi Tamari
VT Artisan Tofu
Tangletown Eggs



Small Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG containing:
Lettuce; Beets; Beans; Cucumber

And OUT of the bag:
Tomatoes / Garlic (packed in a small paper bag)


Come visit the farm!

Our annual open farm day is coming up on Saturday August 17th.

Our event is part of Kingdom Farm and Food Days, a weekend packed full of farm tours and good food opportunities out here in our neck of the woods.

On Saturday from 11 - 3:30 we'll be giving tours of the farm fields and facility with light refreshments served throughout the day.  In the morning there will be lots of other farms open in the area.  The Pete's Greens Farm Stand will be open too.

See below for more information!

Scenes from the Capitol City Farmers' Market

Come visit Pete's Greens at the Capitol City Farmer's Market
Open every Saturday through October 26th from 9-1 on State Street in Montpelier.




Storage and Use Tips

Large share members will receive a bag of mesclun.
Small share members will receive heads of Red Leaf Lettuce - great for making into a salad or throwing on a sandwich!

Once again we have either red or heirloom tomatoes for you this week.  They will be packed in a brown paper bag separate from your veggies.  Store your tomatoes at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.  A few sites will receive cherry tomatoes.
 

The garlic was harvested just last week and it's beautiful.  It's still "fresh" as it's not fully cured yet.  It's been drying in the headhouse for the past few days.  As Annie says "it smells incredible, spicy, like a kitchen where something awesome is about to be cooked."  These heads have a milder flavor than garlic that's had a chance to dry out a bit and are wonderful added to any dish or roasted whole.  The garlic will be in your bag of tomatoes (unless you receive cherry tomatoes and then they will be in your veggie bag).
 

The bunched carrots are bright and colorful, and loaded with the antioxidant betacarotene which is converted to vitamin A.  They're also a good source of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins C and B6, copper, folate, thiamine, and magnesium.  Keep these in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

The red beets are beautiful, big and fresh!  My favorite way to enjoy beets is roasted - it brings out their natural sugars and they are so sweet!  Here's how I do it - peel the beets and chop into chunks or quarters.  Combine with olive oil, salt and pepper, and put into the oven pre-heated to 450.  Stir every 10 minutes or so, and cook until tender, about 30-40 minutes. 

Beans are here!  These green, yellow, and purple beans are a special treat for you this week.   They were just picked and will make a nice addition to your dinner plate.  You can steam these beans, incorporate them into a stir fry, or make them into a featured dish (recipes below).  Enjoy this special treat!

Most of the cauliflower this week are white heads, but some of you may get a yellow head (called cheddar) or a bright purple head.  They can all be enjoyed the same way - steamed, sauteed, or roasted.  The heads are quite delicate so handle them gently to avoid bruising.  I learned recently that you can eat the whole head - any of the small leaves left clinging to the vegetable are delicate and cook quickly, and the stalk can be thinly sliced and served raw with a dish of sea salt for an appetizer. 

Your onions are a mix of yellow and red and are loose in your bag.  These are the first from our field of storage onions.

Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section.  I am sure you will find it useful.


Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.



Localvore Lore

The tamari comes from North Hatley, Canada, from Suzanne and Gilbert, owners of Les Aliments Massawippi.  They make very fine, semi precious miso and miso-damari (aka tamari). Tamari literally means liquid pressed from soybeans, and for centuries it meant the thick brown liquid that pooled in casks of fermenting soybean miso. This tamari was a rare delicacy reserved for special occasions. The tamari in the share today was made by this slow natural process. It is an unpredictable process in terms of flavor and yield.
Eventually producers learned to brew tamari-like liquid soy sauce that had similar characteristics as the original by-product of miso. Most high end tamari is brewed from whole soybeans, sea salt, water, and koji (Aspergillus hacho) rather than pressed from naturally fermented miso. The newer method is a fast way to turn out a fairly consistent product that is similar to but not nearly the quality of the real thing. Commercial soy sauces (even some labeled as shoyu or tamari) are another step down and are usually made from soybeans that have been defatted with hexane, a petroleum derivative, and even added wheat.  Other common shortcuts are artificial fermentation methods including genetically engineered enzymes.  Most soy sauce is actually caramel colored water with lots of salt, hydrochloric acid treated soy isolate, and sugar added.

This Soy Oats/Barley Tamari is pretty special and rare. It is a live food and has never been pasteurized, with a fuller richer flavor than soy sauce. One of our vegetarian share members, who received the tamari in a prior share, commented that she hoarded it, only using it a teaspoonful at a time. It really is that much better than soy sauce. You can use it to flavor stir fries, sauces, salad dressings, soups, grains and more.  Please transfer to a small glass jar for best quality and store in your fridge. It will last a very long time.  I spent today packaging the tamari.  It smelled amazing and had me dreaming of a good stir fry!
 
It is important to note that like miso, sauerkraut, kimchi and other fermented foods, tamari is alive with lactobacilli. These microscopic bacteria are good for your digestive system, but can be easily killed with too much heat. If at all possible, try to use your tamari at the end of the cooking process, stirring it in at the very end, once the pan has come off of the heat.

Vermont Soy's Artisan Tofu is produced right down the road from us in Hardwick, Vermont.  Tofu is a fermented soy product, high in protein and rich in calcium.   They try to use as much locally grown soybeans as possibly for production and use traditional fermentation methods when processing their product. Although tofu can be eaten raw, it is best when seasoned and when using a marinade it soaks up flavor. Before using, wrap tofu block in a very clean cotton or linen kitchen towel and squeeze the excess moisture out.  It also freezes well so toss it in the freezer if you won't use it soon.

The girls at Tangletown Farms have been busy producing eggs for you this week!



 Saturday August 17th is Pete's Greens Annual Open Farm
& Kingdom Farm & Food Days!

Please join us on August 17th for our annual open farm.  Pete and Isaac and others among us will be giving tours of the farm, fields and facility. 
We will also be serving food throughout the day for you to enjoy!

We welcome CSA members, neighbors, friends, and anyone else to visit the farm and learn about what we do, how we grow, where we process and store vegetables.


Tours will go out into the fields at 11, 12:30, and 1:30. 

Our farm event happens within the action packed weekend Kingdom Farm & Food Days.  Many farms in the Northeast Kingdom will be open for visitors so you can visit them and see how they operate.  Some of the participating farms are:



On Saturday, 8/17, the Center for an Agricultural Economy will offer ONE special guided tour with a morning caravan that will go behind the scenes at High Mowing Seeds, Highfields Center for Composting, the Vermont Food Venture Center and end the day at Pete’s Greens for the 12:30pm tour and activities. Participation cost is $15.00 and runs from 9am to 2pm with light refreshments provided. Please contact Elena Gustavson at elena@hardwickagriculture.org or 802-472-5362 for more information or to register.  The early birds will be rewarded, not many spaces for this special tour.

Many area restaurants are also participating in KFFD and will have specials for KFFD attendees.  After the farm tours you can go visit these restaurants and enjoy a wonderful meal!  Some of the restaurants/businesses include: Claire's, Parker Pie, Craftsbury General Store, and Bee's Knee's
 



If you're feeling thirsty, Hill Farmstead and Caledonia Spirits will also be open that weekend.  Stop by either place to purchase their award winning beers, gin, vodka, or elderberry cordial.  Hill Farmstead is open from 12-5 on Saturday only.  Caledonia Spirits is also open on Saturday only, from 10-5.

While you're in the area why not check out the finale weekend of Circus Smirkus' Oz Incorporated?  Shows are at their headquarters in Greensboro on Saturday at 7pm, and Sunday at 1 and 6pm.  Tickets usually sell out for this event so you may want to order tickets on-line ahead of time.

On Sunday, August 18th, High Mowing Seeds will offer tours of their trial fields and offer various workshops from 11-8.  Some of the workshops include seed saving, vegetable fermentation, herb gardening, seed swap, food gleaning with the VT Food Bank, and children's activities.  They will also have a band and bonfire at 6pm.

The New England Culinary Institute (NECI) will present an amazing array of locally produced food in Sunday afternoon’s Local Foods Showcase at High Mowing Seeds. This dinner has become very popular among visitors who know they will taste some of the finest Vermont-made food products and culinary delights prepared by NECI students and chef Ryan O’Malley.


More event details will be available in upcoming weeks. 
Please mark your calendars and join us for a great weekend celebrating VT agriculture!



Recipes


Seared Cauliflower with Garlic and Tamari
The tamari caramelizes the cauliflower, giving it a wonderful robustness.  This makes a great side dish!

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tbsp tamari
3-4 tbsp water
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp minced parsley

Over medium-high heat, sauté the cauliflower, slowly stirring it until it just browns. Then add the tamari. When the tamari starts to stick to the pan, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of water and the garlic; allow the sauce to reduce until it just coats the cauliflower. Remove the cauliflower from the heat and immediately toss it with the parsley.

Options: Toss the cauliflower with the garlic, parsley, and tamari (no water) and bake it in a covered baking dish at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.


Asian Speedy Beans
This is a quick and easy way to cook your beans while adding some gourmet flavors. The recipe is intended to be an alternative method to steaming the beans, and can be made with just cooking oil, salt and pepper or any kind of seasoning you like. Use a chili seasoning for Mexican beans or curry for curried beans. The options are limitless.

1 lb beans
1 tbsp cooking oil
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp ginger root, grated
2 cloves garlic, pressed and minced
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the cooking oil in a non-stick pan over high heat. When the oil begins to pop, about 3 minutes, add the beans. Cook the beans, stirring every 30 seconds, until most of the water in the pan has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger root, garlic and salt. Continue to saute in sauce for another 3-5 minutes, until about half the beans begin to brown. Remove the pan from heat and serve.


Italian Cauliflower
This is best when the cauliflower is just tender, not mushy.  Put a couple of sausages on the grill and toss a salad. There's dinner. Serves 4.

1 cauliflower, cut into florets
3 TB oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 TB vinegar
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes
minced Italian flat parsley

Heat oil in a wide deep skillet and saute onion until translucent. Add cauliflower and a couple tablespoons of water. Continue cooking and stirring often. When cauliflower and onion begin to brown a bit, add the vinegar. Cover and cook until vinegar cooks off. Stir in tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, pepper flakes, and parsley. Simmer covered until cauliflower is tender, about 5 to 10 minutes.


Tamari Marinated Tofu-Cucumber Salad
This is a delightful Asian inspired tofu dish.  No cooking required!

3 tbsp tamari
2 tbsps rice vinegar
1 heaping tsp minced chile (jalapeno or Serrano)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, halved, sliced into long pieces
1 block firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch slices width wise
1 English cucumber, mandoline thin slices
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Drain the tofu and wrap in a clean towel to remove the excess water.  In a bowl, whisk together the tamari, rice vinegar, chile and extra virgin olive oil.  Season.  In a dish, spread out the onion and place tofu on top.  Cover with vinaigrette and marinate in fridge for 1 hour.  Remove tofu slices and transfer to a platter.  Toss cucumbers with the marinated onions.  Place on top of tofu and serve.


Beans with Tomatoes, Shallots, and Olives
You can't go wrong with beans, onions, and tomatoes!  The briefly pickled shallots add a great element to this dish.

12 ounces beans
1 shallot, sliced crosswise into rings (can sub an onion if you don't have a shallot)
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
10 Kalamata or other black olives, pitted
1 small clove garlic
1 tomato, cut up into chunks
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
Several basil leaves

Bring plenty of water to a boil in a pot.  While the water is heating, tip and tail the beans unless they are very tender and fresh, in which case you can leave the tips on.

While the water is heating, toss the sliced shallot in the vinegar.  Pit the olives and chop them with the garlic. 
When the water comes to a boil, add 1tbsp salt, then the beans.  Cook until they are tender-firm, about 5 minutes.  The timing will depend on the bean- how big, how old, so you just have to keep tasting them to get it right.  Drain the beans and turn them onto a towel to dry.

Put the beans in a large bowl, and toss them with the olives and garlic, then taste for salt and season with pepper.  Pull the shallots out of the vinegar, add the oil to the vinegar, and whisk them together.  Pour the dressing over the beans, then scatter the shallots over the top.  Add the tomatoes and basil; stir to combine.  This can be served hot or at room temperature.


TLT (Tofu, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich)
According to Eating Well magazine, even the most devoted bacon fan won't remember what's missing in this smoky, spicy rendovation of the sandwich favorite.  From Eating Well, June/July 2005.  Makes 4.

1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers, (see Ingredient note), divided
14 ounces water-packed extra-firm tofu, drained and rinsed
4 tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
8 slices crusty whole-wheat bread, toast
4 pieces green-leaf lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, sliced

Preheat oven to 475°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine mustard, soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce in a small bowl. Slice tofu crosswise into eight 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Pat dry with a paper towel and place on the prepared baking sheet. Using a spoon, spread half the mustard mixture on one side of the tofu. Turn the slices over and spread the remaining mixture on the other side.  Bake the tofu for 20 minutes.

Combine mayonnaise with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce in a small bowl. Spread the mixture on toasted bread. Divide the tofu, lettuce and tomato among 4 slices of toast and top with the remaining toast to make 4 sandwiches. Cut in half to serve.
 

Glenn's Roasted Beet Salad
This recipe comes to you from a CSA member who loves beets!  If you have a great recipe or unique way that you enjoy your veggies please let us know.  I love hearing from our members!

2 medium beets, peeled and cubed
4oz goat or feta cheese
1/2 med red onion, chopped
1 handful  dried cranberries or raisins
1 handful toasted walnuts or pecans
3-4 cups Lettuce (mixed lettuces or spinach works too)

Dressing:
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp Mayonnaise
2 tbsp Honey
1tsp crushed garlic

Toss the beet cubes in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 350 for 30 mins - 1 hour.  Stir them every 15 mins until they are roasted and a little crispy on the edges.  Cool.

Combine dressing ingredients.  Combine salad ingredients with the beets except the nuts in a separate bowl.

Right before serving, add the nuts and dressing and toss.   Add dressing and toss to taste, reserving some in case it is too wet to your liking...add more for more wetness.

You can make a meal out of it by adding cubed chicken, bacon and/or hard-boiled egg.



Monday, July 29, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - July 24, 2013


Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun; Potatoes; Broccoli; Radishes; Peppers;
Onions; Zucchini; Cucumbers; Basil

And OUT of the bag:
Tomatoes (packed in a small paper bag)

Localvore Offerings Include:
Pete's Pizza Dough
Pete's Tomato Sauce
Maplebrook Farms Fresh Mozzarella Cheese



Small Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG containing:
Mesclun; Potatoes; Broccoli; Zucchini;
Cucumbers; Basil

And OUT of the bag:
Tomatoes (packed in a small paper bag)

Have you been to the Pete's Greens  farmstand yet? 

It's stocked daily with the greatest diversity of our organic  veggies along with fresh bread, local cheeses, eggs, pastured meats and many of our favorite localvore items.  New this year is an outside covered area and seating.   

Open every day into October from 8-8.  Come visit us!



Storage and Use Tips

You will receive either red or heirloom tomatoes this week.  They will be packed in a brown paper bag separate from your veggies.  Store your tomatoes at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.

The potatoes are a mix of our new potatoes.  They're so young and fresh they don't need a whole lot of cooking to enjoy.

French Breakast Radishes - these beautiful radishes have a crisp texture and a mild to delicately sweet flavor. They are best eaten raw. Slice them in a salad or serve them with coarse salt, fresh butter and a baguette for a French treat. Radishes should always be stored separate from the greens. Try adding the greens to a salad or mix in with other cooking greens in soups, sautes or stir-frys. Keep greens and radish ends loosely wrapped in their own plastic bags, in your crisper drawer.

Sweet Peppers - these are a fun treat for you this week.  These peppers are large, hollow, and can be stuffed or fried.  Their flesh is crisp and juicy.  Enjoy raw in salads, sandwiches, or in a stir fry.  They also roast beautifully and are really tasty this way.   To roast, simply core and seed, quarter them, brush them with olive oil (or not), and then roast them in the oven, skin side up at n oven temp of anywhere from 45o to broiling. The hotter the oven, the quicker they will roast. With a very hot oven, you may want to turn them a time or two for even roasting.  Roast until the skins blister and brown or char a bit. Then remove from oven to cool. Most cooks like to remove the charred skins from the peppers before using in a dish. This is done easily if you cover the cooling peppers with a cloth for 10 minutes. The steam loosens the skin and peeling is easier.  Iris, Melissa and Isaac's toddler who is growing up on the farm  loves snacking on these peppers!

Yellow Onions are bunched, sweet and tasty.  The tops on the onions are actually quite nutritious too so try to find a use for them. 
They contain more potassium than the onions do, along with an excellent supply of vitamins A and C.  I freeze mine in a plastic bag in freezer along with scraps of veggies I am chopping on cutting board, and I save them all up for when I make broth.

Zucchini and cucumbers are growing very well in this hot July weather.  If you can't use your zucchini right now too you can shred them and freeze in 2-cup increments. Then you can pull a  frozen bag out in the dead of winter and make a fresh loaf of zucchini bread (such a treat!) or throw into an omelet or soup.

Slicing Cucumber - enjoy these on a salad, made into a cucumber salad, or a quick pickle (recipe below).  Keep these loosely bagged in the crisper drawer and they will keep a few days or more.

Your basil will be packed in your mesclun bag.  Be sure to pull out the basil and store out of the fridge with the stems in a glass of water to keep as fresh as possible.

Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section.  I am sure you will find it useful.


Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.



Localvore Lore

It's a pizza week!  There are so many fun options to top your pizza with -

Tomato, basil, mozzarella pizza
Roasted peppers and onions, basil and mozzarella
Zucchini cheddar basil pizza with a lemon/olive oil dressing is Annie's favorite

The Pizza Dough was made at the farm and frozen for delivery. This pizza dough is made with Quebec Milanaise organic unbleached flour, Gleason Grain Snake Mountain Sifted whole wheat flour, local sunflower oil, salt and yeast. Use within four to five hours of thawing (ready to go the night you pick up share or store in freezer for later use). Coat a smooth surface with flour and cornmeal (just flour ok) so that the dough does not stick to the surface. Form dough into ball and flatten with heels of palms. Stretch dough with hands or use a rolling pin to form shape of baking pan (I use a cookie sheet so I form it into a square). Once dough is slightly stretched on surface you can stretch dough in the air with hands by making two fists held together with dough on top. Move each hand up, down and out turning the dough clockwise. Each dough can be stretched to a 16" round, for thicker crust make smaller. If you like light fluffy crust I put my baking sheet on the top of my oven while preheating and let rise. Otherwise set aside in neutral area till oven is ready at 425F. Cook 12-14 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese bubbles.

We also made Tomato Sauce to go along with the share. It's made with our organic tomatoes, onions, sunflower oil, garlic, oregano, basil, fennel seed, salt, & black pepper. It's pretty yummy and is coming to you jarred. Use this sauce on pizza or even on pasta.

Maplebrook Farm's Fresh Mozzarella Cheese is hand-made daily in Bennington, Vermont. They start with pure, whole Vermont milk from family farms around the state. The milk is first pasteurized, and then cultured and rennet are added. Once the curd has been cut and drained, mozzarella balls are formed.  The unique old-world approach of stretching and molding premium raw cow curd in small batches and using all natural ingredients delivers a smooth, moist and refreshingly distinct mozzarella cheese. They recommend setting out fresh mozzarella a few hours before serving, for the full flavor to come through. For best quality, use cheese quickly but (bonus!) you can also freeze to use at a later date.



Recipes

Vegetable Tian
A tian is a casserole of sorts featuring various vegetables arranged in a specific arrangement.  This tian would also be great with peppers thrown in!

Good olive oil
2 large yellow onions, cut in half and sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound medium round potatoes, unpeeled
3/4 pound zucchini
1 1/4 pounds medium tomatoes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs, or 1 tsp dried thyme
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated, or other cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with olive oil. In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the onions over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.

Slice the potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes in 1/4-inch thick slices. Layer them alternately in the dish on top of the onions, fitting them tightly, making only 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and thyme sprigs and drizzle with 1 more tablespoon of olive oil. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Uncover the dish, remove the thyme sprigs, sprinkle the cheese on top, and bake for another 30 minutes until browned. Serve warm.


Lazy Cucumber and Onion Pickle
These need about 3 hours to cure and will stay fresh in the fridge for about a week.  From the book "Vegetable Literacy" by Deborah Madison.

3 cucumbers, unpeeled
1 onion
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 tbsp sugar or 1 tsp agave syrup
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/4 tsp ground turmeric

Slice the cucumbers thinly crosswise.  Slice the onion into thin rounds.

Put 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and the sugar in a bowl large enough to hold the vegetables.  Add the vinegar and 1 cup water and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.  Add the cucumbers, onion, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and turmeric.  Press on the vegetables to immerse them in the liquid (a plate set over the veggies can help).  Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.


Steamed Broccoli with Mustard butter, pine nuts, and roasted pepper
This makes an awesome summer salad.  The mustard butter puts it right over the edge from being just a good salad to a fantastic one.

About 1 pound broccoli
4 tbsp mustard butter (recipe below)
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1 large roasted sweet pepper, seeded and sliced a scant 1/2 inch wide
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Cut the stems off the brocoli crowns and peel them.  Slice the stems into rounds.  Cut the crowns into bite-sized florets.

Steam the broccoli florets and stem slices until bright green and tender.  Check by piercing the stems with a knife.  It should take about 5 minutes.

Lift the broccoli into a bowl and toss with the mustard butter, pine nuts, and roasted pepper.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


Mustard Butter with Lemon Zest and Shallot
This butter is a wonderful accompaniment to any cruciferous veggie- broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, or brussel sprouts.  Use it with cooked veggies or stir it into soups that are based on these veggies.

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
Sea salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp prepared mustard or more, to taste
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 large shallot, finely diced
Coarsely ground pepper

Beat the butter with a few pinches of salt until smooth.  Add the lemon zest, mustard, parsley, and shallot and mix well.  Taste and add more mustard if you'd like.  Season with pepper.  Pack the butter into a serving dish and serve, or roll it into a log in waxed paper or parchment paper and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.


Broccoli Pesto Pizza
This pizza is delicious with a little hot italian sausage, sliced garlic, or hot peppers.  Add your favorite toppings!
 

1 pizza dough, thawed
10oz broccoli, chopped into small florets
Mozzarella cheese

1 bunch basil
1.5 cup walnuts, toasted
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine basil, walnuts, oil, and lemon zest. Process until mixture forms a smooth paste, scraping down bowl as needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Roll out dough onto a floured surface, sprinkle flour or cornmeal onto a baking sheet, and transfer dough to the sheet.  Spread pesto over the surface of the dough, scatter broccoli over the pesto, and distribute  cheese on top.  Add any other toppings.

Cook until dough edges are brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice into wedges and serve immediately.


Tomato, Mozzarella, and Garlic Pizza
Here's a classic pizza that tastes great.  From Cooking Light.

pizza dough
2 tablespoon cornmeal
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
3 cups sliced tomato (about 4)
4 teaspoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Stretch or roll the dough on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a pizza pan or baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal (I like to start mine on a piece of parchment and then transfer to the hot baking stone in my oven). Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim (helps to keep everything on the pizza). Bake at 450°F for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle cheese over pizza crust. Arrange the tomato slices over cheese. Combine oil and garlic; sprinkle over tomato. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Top with basil and cut into wedges and enjoy!


Basil Puree
This is a great way to use your basil.  The puree is very similar to pesto without the cheese and nuts.  It's thinner and lighter and a great addition to grilled zucchini, roasted pepper, or green beans.

1 small clove garlic
Sea salt
1 bunch basil
1/3 cup olive oil

Pound the garlic in a mortar with 1/4 tsp salt until smooth.  Set aside.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the basil leaves, and leave them for just a few seconds until they're bright green, then drain immediately.  In a food processor or blender, puree the drained leaves, garlic mixture, and olive oil until smooth.  Season to tast.  The sauce is best used immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container for 1-2 days.


Caprese Salad
Don't forget about this classic, easy summer favorite. 

Summer tomatoes, sliced into thick rounds
Fresh mozzarella, sliced into rounds
a handful of basil leaves - chopped
Good olive oil
Good aged balsamic or a balsamic reduction

Optional - a clove of garlic, minced

Putting the salad together is simple.  Once you have sliced the tomatoes and mozz and chopped the basil you can arrange them prettily on a plate and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.

If you don't have the highest quality balsamic, you can improve it easily.  Just pour a half cup or so into a small saucepan and let it boil, simmering it to half it's original volume. This concentrates the vinegar into something even more yummy.  (Don't leave this pot unattended as it reduces pretty quickly and will burn.)


 
Butter Poached Radishes
Yes you can cook your radishes!   Poaching the radishes lightly and following up with the raspberry vinegar makes a great tasting dish.

1 bunch French breakfast radishes (about 3/4 lb.), greens and bottoms discarded
3 tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
3 dashes raspberry wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable stock
1 tsp fresh tarragon

 Depending on size, halve or quarter radishes lengthwise. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet until melted.
Toss in the chopped radishes and season with salt and pepper. Sauté over low-medium heat until they become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the raspberry wine vinegar and sauté approximately another minute until the radishes turn a vibrant pink. Add the vegetable stock and the remaining tablespoon of butter and cook for another minute to glaze the radishes.  Remove from heat and tear fresh tarragon leaves directly onto the radishes.