Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tonight is a monumental night in the Boehm-Goodnick "unprocessed" house...we harvested our first non-herb crops! (Yes, folks, that's right, it's the little things.) Thanks to the Berkeley based urban mushroom farming venture BTTR (Back To The Roots), we grew pearl oyster mushrooms in our bedroom! (They require little light, and it is our shadiest spot. I promise you that we don't have some kind of sick mushroom fetish.) BTTR uses recycled coffee grounds from Peet's - claiming to divert 7000 pounds of grounds from landfills weekly -- instead using them as the "soil" for the fungus. 10 days with daily misting and voila, a hefty bunch of meaty shrooms.
We gave the fungi a quick toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and popped them in the oven for a few minutes. Then, we spooned them over a bed of mesclun lettuce harvested from the farm on the deck. All in all, a fabulously unprocessed meal.
Nothing makes me happier than external validation...More proof that our crazed ideas about "un-processed" eating and home gardening are on par with the great minds of the food and health industries??? The cover of Diabetes Forecast magazine (published by the American Diabetes Association)features the following headlines: "Homemade! Food tastes best when you do it yourself!" and "Grow it. Got Sunlight? Get Gardening!" Good food, good health; you're in control!
(Yes, I do see the irony in posting a whopping slice of strawberry pie alongside an article giving a nod to DIABETES Forecast magazine, but, heck. I made it myself!)
May 26, 2010
These roll-ups can either start the meal or accompany the main course at a barbecue. Create long, wide planks by slicing the eggplant lengthwise, then grill and fill with roasted red peppers and mozzarella. Roasted red peppers are available in jars at many markets, but it takes only a few minutes to grill your own. Blacken the skins completely so they come off easily when cool. Serve these on their own or accompanied by pasta and garnished with pesto or a favorite marinara and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
3 red bell peppers
2 large eggplants, trimmed and sliced 1/4inch thick lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
8 ounces mozzarella, cut into thick matchsticks
1. Light a charcoal grill and wait for the coals to turn gray; mound them in the center of the grill. Or set a gas grill to medium-high. Have on hand a rimmed baking sheet and toothpicks.
2. Place red peppers over the hottest part of the grill. Roast for 15 minutes, turning often, or until charred. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and set aside for 20 minutes.
3. On baking sheet, arrange 1 layer of eggplant. Brush with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn the slices, and repeat on the other side. Continue on all the slices.
4. Grill the eggplant for 2 minutes on a side or until they are tender and charred. Return the eggplant to the baking sheet; set aside.
5. Remove and discard the skins, seeds, and stems from the red peppers. Slice the peppers into thin strips. In a small bowl, combine the peppers with vinegar, salt, and pepper.
6. Lay the eggplant slices on a work surface with the widest end facing you. Place several strips of red pepper and a few pieces of mozzarella across the widest part of the eggplant. Roll the eggplant around the filling; secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining slices.
7. Set the roll-ups on a cool grill. Cover and cook for 3 minutes or until the cheese melts.
This could be the best salad that I have ever eaten...no lie...I wouldn't falsify such a grandiose statement. Try it, and let me know if you disagree. P.S. It is best when washed down with a glass of chianti on a lazy Sunday (or Thursday, if you will) afternoon. (P.S. Did I mention how terribly easy it is to throw together?)
The Boston Globe, May 26, 2010
The traditional Italian salad panzanella was born from the need to use up stale bread. Some versions call for soaking the loaf in water. It’s more luxurious to rub a crusty baguette with olive oil and garlic and grill the pieces for a few minutes, lending smoky notes to the finished bowl of arugula, tomatoes, and red onion. For a pretty presentation, choose multicolored cherry tomatoes.
1 baguette, halved lengthwise
5 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cloves garlic, halved
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes in mixed colors, quartered
2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh arugula, stems trimmed
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1. Light a charcoal grill and wait for the coals to turn gray or set a gas grill to medium.
2. Brush the baguette with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Grill the baguette for 2 minutes on a side or until crisp and slightly charred. Remove bread from grill and rub with garlic cloves. Tear into bite-sized pieces.
4. In a large bowl, combine grilled bread, cherry and regular tomatoes, onion, arugula, basil, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently.
5. Divide the salad among 6 plates and sprinkle with goat cheese.