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Carrot Slaw and Spinach Pesto: Spring Recipes with Juliette

Carrot Slaw is one of my favorite Spring treats, because I can mix in the sweet and spicy microgreens.

CARROT SLAW

Dressing:
3 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
3 TSBP Maple Syrup
3 TSBP Soy Sauce
1 tsp Sriracha or Hot Chili Sauce (add more or less depending on affinity to spice)
1 TBSP Sesame Seeds

Grate, food process, or julienne 2 lbs of carrots. You can sub in other root veggies, or cabbage, based on availablity. Toss in salad dressing, and let sit in fridge for 30 minutes before serving. When ready to serve, top with microgreens!

SPINACH PESTO

My favorite way to use Spinach Pesto is spread on toast, and topped with a sunny side up JSF egg. I have found a multitude of uses for it, and have spiced it up in a million different ways. I have tossed it in pasta stir-fries, marinated and baked chicken in it, used it as a sandwich spread, and snacked on carrots dipped in it. 

SPINACH PESTO

1/2 lb, or one large bag, of Spinach
1/2 of one Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 Walnuts
Olive Oil

Sautee on low the half onion, salt, and pepper, in enough olive oil to coat the pan. For the best pesto flavor, you will want to caramelize the onion, which will take about 30 minutes. The onions should become transluscent, and then slightly browned, but not burnt, so keep stirring!

About 5-10 minutes before the onions are done, add the chopped garlic and red pepper flakes.

Put spinach and walnuts in the food processer or blender. Add the onion and oil mixture, and pulse until the oil is distributed. The mixture should be chunky. at this point, slowly continue to add fresh olive oil until you reach the consistency that works best for you. I like to keep mine fairly chunky, because I like to spread it on toast. When I use it as a pasta sauce or a dip, I use enough oil to be able to drip the pesto off of a spoon.

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Recipe: Homemade Pumpkin Pie

If you've never made a pumpkin pie from scratch, now's a great time to try. Making fresh pumpkin puree from a sugar pie pumpkin is extremely easy and will really make your pie stand out! This recipe is from Christa's mom, Emilie Alexander, and it's incredible!  One pumpkin will yield about  3 cups of puree, enough for two pies - one for dessert and one for breakfast the next day.

Ingredients:

1 pie pumpkin, cooked and pureed following directions below

For 1 pie (double for 2 pies): 
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 single crust (see sidebar for a great crust recipe)
3/4 cup maple syrup (or sugar or honey)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1 Tbsp butter, melted

Method:

To make the pumpkin puree: Wash the pumpkin, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy inner flesh.  Roast the two pumpkin halves in a baking dish lined with foil (cut side down) at 400 degrees for 50 minutes, or until flesh is tender when poked with a fork. When cool, scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor. You can do this step ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze puree for later use.

To make the pie: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put the pumpkin puree in a mixing bowl and stir in maple syrup, spices, and salt.  Beat eggs slightly in a separate bowl and add the evaporated milk.  Combine with pumpkin mixture until well blended.  Stir in the melted butter. Pour into the pie crust and bake for 10 minutes, then turn heat down to 350 degrees and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool fully before serving. Pumpkin pie can be made well ahead of time and refrigerated until it's time for dinner.

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Winter Squash and Apple Mash

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Winter Squash and Apple Mash

Source: Christa's mother, Emilie

4 lbs wintersquash (about 2 Squash)
2 apples, grated
1 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. butter
2-3 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut squash in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds.  Brush with olive oil and place, cut side down, on a foil lined baking sheet.  Bake until squash is tender all the way through-about 30 mins.

Melt butter over medium-low heat, in a large pot or dutch oven,  Add apples, onions, and cover and cook until onions are soft (about 5 mins.) Remove cover and saute until golden brown (5-7 mins).  Add garlic and spices and saute until fragrant (30 seconds).  Remove from heat and set aside until squash finishes roasting.

Once squash is complete, scrape it out of the skin, and add it, along with maple syrup, to the pot with the apples and onions. Whip with a hand mixer to desired consistency.
Serve hot, with a sprinkle of brown sugar.

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Garlic Scapes

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Garlic Scapes

We plant garlic in October the season prior and begin harvesting in July. In June, before harvest begins, some garlic varieties send up seed stalks – these are called garlic scapes. We cut them off to allow the plants to put their energy into growing big bulbs (and not growing the seed stalk) – but the benefits of cutting off the scapes are two-fold, as they are excellent to eat! They can be used like scallions, though some may find them too strong to be eaten raw.  They are crisp with a sweetness and incredible garlic essence. They are excellent roasted or sautéed with other vegetables. You can also coat them lightly with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and roast them on the grill or under the broiler.

Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 4 garlic scapes (chopped into 1” sections)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

In blender combine scapes and olive oil, drizzling in oil until you reach a consistency you like. Pour mixture into bowl and blend in cheese by hand. Great on pasta, pizza, sandwiches or as a dip.

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A No Recipe Recipe

We all have our time honored meal choices, but sometimes we need a little inspiration in the kitchen. While the internet is overwhelmingly full of ideas, what we really enjoy is hearing from friends and members about their culinary creativity. We wanted to give a shout out to Catherine Stevens this week for sharing with us her no recipe recipe for CSA Soup.

CSA Soup

Making homemade soup is easy and the ingredients in this recipe may be changed to match whatever veggies were in your JSF CSA share and whatever you might have in your kitchen. Be creative, taste for seasoning as you go along and allow the soup to simmer to deepen the flavor. If you've never made soup before, please give it a try--it's so nutritious and delicious! Plus, homemade soup freezes beautifully and I have several types of soup in my freezer for those days when I get home from work and haven't planned anything for dinner. 

Ingredients:

  • Olive or vegetable oil and, if you want a richer taste, a little butter
  • Chopped/diced vegetables including onion, garlic, leeks, carrots, tomatoes (fresh, frozen or home canned), potato, summer squash, green beans, peas, turnip, kale, spinach, chard, cabbage, etc.
  • Quinoa or rice or barley or noodles or small pasta (ditalini) or farro or cooked beans.

Basic instructions:

  • Put a few tablespoons of oil in a dutch oven or soup pot and add the basics: chopped onion/leeks/garlic, carrot and celery. These are the "trinity" that create the beginning flavors in your soup. Cook, stirring occasionally, on medium until the onions are turning translucent. Don't let them burn.
  • Add any of the other vegetables listed above and/or whatever you have; add vegetable stock (or chicken or beef) to twice cover the vegetables and simmer until the vegetables are cooked. At this point, taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, chopped parsley and/or basil/and or other herbs you like. Add the rice/pasta/quinoa/beans and taste for seasoning again. Depending on the pasta/beans that you added, and depending on whether you like a thick soup or a thin one, you may need to add more water or stock at this point. Taste again for seasonings. 

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Recipe: Cabbage Buns

This is a favorite in our family, handed down from Mark's Austrian great-grandparents.  Perfect for lunch or dinner, eat warm or cold, great for on-the-go - we even eat them for breakfast!

Cabbage Buns

Ingredients:

  • white or wholewheat bread dough
  • green cabbage, chopped coarse
  • sweet or yellow onion, chopped course
  • carrot, chopped coarse or shredded (can also use turnips, potatoes, peppers, most any veggie)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional spices/additions: cinnamon, raisins, crushed almonds, hot or sweet sausage (ground)

Instructions:

Use any white or wholewheat bread dough recipe.  As dough is rising prepare the stuffing.
Saute onions on medium heat until soft. If using sausage, cook this next in the onions until nearly done, add cabbage and carrots on top, stir and continue cooking covered on medium heat until cabbage is soft but not mushy. Add in any other spices, raisins, nuts etc... at this time and mix completely. Let cool until not too hot to touch.

After dough has risen, punch it down and roll out with plenty of flour to keep it from sticking. Cut into 4"x4" squares.  Place cabbage mixture in center of each square and fold up corners to center, sealing all edges so stuffing is completely encased in dough.  Turn over onto a baking pan.  Arrange buns onto a baking pan as you would if baking cookies.  Bake at 350F until golden brown.

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