19 September 2014

Roasting and baking the garden leftovers, with weekend links

We had a couple of cold nights last weekend, which sent me scrambling to harvest what I could from the garden in case it would be last chance to eat fresh basil and tomatoes.  It was; although the temps are now back up near 90 during the day, those tomato, basil, and squash plants are deader that the proverbial doornail, and we have a hell of a lot of pesto in the freezer.  

I also grabbed a lot of kale and all the raspberries I could get my hands on.  Those little sugar bombs were the perfect amount for The Pioneer Woman's Raspberry Crisp, which was a fantastically simple recipe.  

With the kale, I did this...

Roasted Potato and Kale Salad

Serves 4

Olive oil
3 large baking potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks
8 cups loosely packed kale, washed and roughly chopped
½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
Zest and juice from ½ lemon
¼ cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and chopped (could substitute canned black olives in a pinch)
2 chopped hard-boiled eggs
1 tablespoon chopped or slivered almonds
Salt and black pepper to taste

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Place the chopped potatoes in a large mixing bowl and drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top.  Season with salt and stir to coat.  Spread potatoes into single layers on the baking sheets and place in the oven.  Bake at 425°F (no need to preheat) 20-25 minutes, or until they’re just starting to turn golden.

Meanwhile, place the chopped kale in the mixing bowl and season with salt.  Rub it around the edges of the bowl to pick up any residual olive oil (don’t worry if it’s not coated very much).  When the potatoes are at aforementioned state, spread the kale and sliced onion evenly over the potatoes on both baking sheets, give each a bit of a stir, and replace to oven.  Cook another 10-15 minutes, or until kale it crispy in spots and onions are soft.

Place roasted vegetables in a large serving bowl (or the mixing bowl I used in the steps above) and add the garlic, lemon zest and juice, olives, eggs, almonds, and black pepper to taste.  Stir to incorporate and taste for salt.  Serve piping hot.

Thinking of all things harvest-y, don't forget the fantastic Sustainable Living Fair in Fort Collins this weekend. While you're there, you can sample local brews to your heart's desire with this enormous Fort Collins Brewery Guide and enjoy the local Bike Library if you think you can keep your balance...

16 September 2014

The Zucchini Project: Veggie-loaded Pork Burgers

Zucchini really does come through in this confetti-colored burger recipe, so I'm including it in my Zucchini Project collection. Substitute ground chicken, lamb, or beef if you don't like pork.  (PS--Why don't you like pork? It's delicious!)

Veggie-Loaded Pork Burgers

Makes 4-5 patties

1 lb. ground pork (or meat of your choice)
1 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen corn, thawed and drained
½ medium red bell pepper, finely diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup fine bread crumbs (panko works well)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Form into patties and either cook on the grill over medium-high heat (turning carefully to avoid losing vegetables) or sear in some olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat on the stove.

12 September 2014

Recipe for roasted spiced apples and weekend favorites

Thanks to an odd spring season that seemed to zap pests while sparing the blossoms, our apple tree is more prolific than it has been in the decade we've lived here. And so, we are burdened with the delicious problem of figuring out what to do with the results.  In lieu of starting up an "apple project" to mimic my zucchini project (which I hope you're not sick of yet), I'll just share my favorite universal recipe for apples along with clever ideas from some of my favorite blogs.  These roasted apples will keep, frozen or in the refrigerator, and can be stirred into oatmeal or your morning yogurt and granola, eaten on their own or as an ice cream topping, or even used as pie filling.

Happy weekend!

Roasted Spiced Apples

2 pounds apples, cored and chopped into approx. 1-inch cubes
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Prepare two baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

Combine apples and all remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to coat.  Spread out evenly in single layers onto the prepared baking sheets and place in the oven.  Roast, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning, for 25 minutes or until golden.

Some other great apple ideas from around the web...

These apple and cheddar scones from Smitten Kitchen are to die for...

Heidi Swanson's Black Pepper Cauliflower Salad over at 101 Cookbooks combines cauliflower florets with a warm black pepper and red onion vinaigrette, and tossed with nuts, apples, olives, and a bit of feta. Amazing.

These Caramelized Apple German Pancakes over at I Heart Eating (hey, so do I!) are the best excuse ever to stop everything you're doing and stage a big, piggy brunch. And they're so beautiful I swiped their photo:

09 September 2014

The Zucchini Project: Peanut Butter Zucchini Bread

I told myself I wasn't going to resort to hiding my zucchini in baked goods for this project, but this recipe is just too good to pass up.  Heavily adapted from http://www.tastesoflizzyt.com/.  Lizzy, you are a genius.

Peanut Butter Zucchini Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel

Serves 12

3/4 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons softened butter

Mix together the peanut butter, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, zucchini and peanut butter chips in a bowl. Add the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir thoroughly to combine into a smooth batter.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and softened butter. Mix until the streusel is crumbly.

Grease and flour two loaf pans. Split the batter between the two pans. Divide the streusel topping between the two loaf pans, sprinkling the streusel on top. Conversely, you could grease two medium muffin pans (to make 24 muffins) and top with equal amounts of streusel. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or start checking after 45 minutes if making muffins.