Simple Root Vegetable Side

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I'm new to baby turnips.  They are delicious and now I can;t get enough of them.  This root vegetable medley is easy and full of flavor and pleasing textures.  And it satisfies my new turnip needs.  

Makes 1 large pan.

Simple Root Vegetable Side

2 carrots, peeled, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1 lb baby turnips, chopped

2 potatoes, chopped

1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, chopped

3 thyme sprigs, stems discarded

splash olive oil

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Heat oven to 375.  Toss carrots, red onion, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes and thyme in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread over large baking sheet.  Roast in oven 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  

Kale + Potato Salad

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A new salad from Cameron.  It's delicious and makes great use of seasonal ingredients.   Also, how often do you eat potatoes and pomegranate seeds together?  Probably not enough, right?

Kale + Potato Salad

1 large sweet potato, chopped

2 white potatoes, chopped

olive oil

1 bunch kale leaves, stems discarded

juice of 1/2 lemon

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seeds from 1 small pomegranate

1 cup pecans

splash basalmic vinegar

Heat oven to 425.  Toss sweet potato and white potatoes in a splash of olive oil.  Place onto a baking sheet and roast 45 minutes until done, tossing once. 

While the potatoes are roasting, saute kale in a splash of olive oil, for 5 minutes until wilted.  Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.  

Toss roasted potatoes, kale, pomegranate seeds and pecans together in a large bowl and drizzle with a tiny amount of basalmic vinegar.

 

Cam's Freekeh Salad

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We've made big batches of this a couple weeks in a row and I'm obsessed.  If I'm not paying attention I can eat much more than I should.  It's one of those foods that I'm not sure if it's a side dish or main meal so maybe it's both.  

Freekeh is a roasted grain from green wheat, it is a natural, ancient grain high in fiber and iron.   

Serves 4.   

Freekeh Salad with Cilantro + Corn

1 cup freekeh

2 ears corn

1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced

1 poblano pepper, seeded, diced

2 shallots, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 tin black beans, drained, rinsed

olive oil

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several sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped

juice of 1 lime

1/4 teaspoon cumin

Cook freekeh in 2 cups water.  Boil, cover, simmer 50-60 minutes until water is gone and freekeh is cooked.   

Cut kernels from corn (discard cobs) and saute in a splash of olive oil with red bell pepper, poblano, shallots and garlic.  Cook 5 minutes, or until corn is cooked.  Add freekeh and black beans.  Toss with salt, pepper, cilantro, lime juice and cumin.   

 

Summer Vegetable Pasta

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Change up any of the vegetables in this dish as you like.  I suggest strolling around the farmers market and see what looks good.  I added cooked lentils at the end of cooking for a little protein, as you can see from the photo.  If you decide to add lentils, about 3/4 cup french green lentils cooked in plenty of water for 20 minutes, and add one more tomato to the recipe.  

serves 6. 

Summer Vegetable + Orecchiette Pasta 

1 lb orecchiette pasta

olive oil

1 shallot, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes

1 cup romano/flat beans, sliced

1 tomato, seeded, peeled, chopped

1 small yellow squash, halved, sliced

1 small zucchini squash, halved, sliced

juice of 2 lemons

2 handfuls fresh basil leaves, diced

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves

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pecorino romano cheese, grated   

Cook pasta to package directions.  Drain, rinse and set aside.  

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pan.  Add shallot, garlic, red chile flakes, romano beans, tomato, squash and zucchini.  Cook until vegetables and crisp tender, about 6 minutes.   

Add pasta, one more splash olive oil, lemon juice, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine and cook until all is hot.  Serve with grated pecorino romano.   

Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

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I can't believe I'm saying this but I really prefer these without frosting because the actual cake base is so flavorful.  The buttermilk adds a little tanginess and the (in season) blueberries are juicy and sweet.  If you do want to frost these, after all these are cupcakes and what's a cupcake without frosting?  (practically a muffin.) , consider a lemon glaze or a lemon cream cheese frosting.  

I like to smash the blueberries instead of leaving them whole, they float in the batter instead of sinking.  Just put them in a bowl and smash them with a spoon, fork or masher.  

Makes 24 standard cupcakes

Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 stick butter, very soft or melted

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 pint blueberries, lightly smashed

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prep cupcake tin with papers or oil.  Set aside. 

In a bowl whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.   

In a large mixing bowl, mix butter, sugar and vanilla.  Add eggs.  Mix until pale yellow.  Add flour mix and buttermilk.  Add vinegar and fold in blueberries.  

Spoon into prepared cups, filling 2/3 full.  Bake 20 minutes or until they test clean.  Carefully, remove from tin, cool completely before frosting.   

 

Smoky Minestrone Soup

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This is another one of Cameron's brilliant soups.  He made it for dinner one night and as soon I tasted it I knew I had to share it here.  We've also been calling this one mexican minestrone but I'm not sure exactly how mexican it is.  Either way, It's smoky and peppery with great texture from all the different vegetables.  I love having a super healthy soups like this that are full of vegetables and flavor.  So very satisfying.  

Serves 6-8.  

Smoky Minestrone Soup

1 cup farro (or barley would be good too)

dash olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 large carrots, diced

1 bulb fennel, diced

1 leak, halved & thinly sliced

3 medium tomatoes, seeded, peeled, and diced

4 sprigs fresh thyme

4 sprigs fresh oregano 

2 bay leaves

1 cup fresh cranberry beans (or use a can of navy beans, rinsed - just add them at the very end) 

2 quarts veggie stock  

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

1 ancho pepper (dried & smoked Poblano)

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp pimenton (smoked paprika) 

1 small zucchini, diced

1 yellow squash, diced

2 cups green beans, chopped

juice of 1/2 a lime

splash Champagne vinegar

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In a small pot, cover farro with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer 40 minutes or until tender and not squeaky.  Drain off excess water.  While farro is cooking, prep the veggies and get the soup going.  
 

In a pot, warm some olive oil and add onion, carrots and fennel.  Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are clear, about 5 minutes.  Add the leek, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, bay and cranberry beans, cooking another 5 minutes more.   

Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Add mushrooms, the dried pepper, cumin and paprika.  Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until the beans are creamy and no longer mealy.  Add remaining ingredients and cook until green beans are blanched, bright green and crisp tender.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Serve over farro and garnish with some cilantro leaves, if you have any around.  

 

Cherry Pie

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I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Part of mine was spent cherry picking at Darlymple Farm in Hector, NY.  It's a beautiful farm perched high on a hill over looking seneca lake.  After picking 10 lbs of cherries it was evident some baking had to be done.

Cherry Pie

for the crust: 

2 1/2 lbs all purpose flour

2 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed

2-6 tablespoons ice cold water

 

for the cherry filling: 

5 cups pitted fresh cherries

2 tablespoons cherry juice or cassis liquor

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons corn starch

 

for the egg wash: 

1 egg yolk

splash milk

In a bowl, whisk flour, sugar and salt together.  Add butter cubes and rub into flour with fingers until it resembles a course crumb.  Add tablespoons of water until mixture will hold together as a dough.  Divide dough in half and form each into discs.  Chill in fridge for 30 minutes.  Roll each out in between 2 sheets of lightly floured parchment paper.  Fit one into a greased 9 inch pie pan.  Cut the other into strips.  Set aside. 

Heat oven to 400 degrees and move rack to lowest position.  Place pitted cherries in  a bowl and strain, reserve 2 tablespoon of cherry juice.  In a small bowl, whisk together cherry juice, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch.  Toss with cherries.  Pour filling into prepared crust. 

Arrange pastry strips over pie, seal and trim edges. Whisk together egg yolk and milk, brush over pastry.  Bake 60 minutes.  If crust browns too fast cover with aluminum foil.   

Cool slightly before serving.   

 

Cam's Corn Succotash

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I heart this.  It's so summery and demands a picnic.  For me, no outdoor summer meal is complete without a corn dish and this one, made by Cameron, my husband,  is great.  It can be easily adapted to suit different tastes by changing the lime to lemon and swapping the cilantro for basil.   

Cam has a nice little trick to neatly getting the kernels of corn off the cob and into a bowl with minimal mess.  As shown in the picture, place a cup upside down in the bottom of a large bowl, stand the corn cob on the cup, slice the kernels off and they will fall into the bowl.  When done, remove cup.   

Serves 4. 

Corn Succotash 

olive oil

kernels of 4 ears fresh corn

1 poblano pepper, seeded, diced

1 shallot, diced

1 red pepper, seeded, diced

cilantro leaves, chopped 

lime juice

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

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Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan on medium heat.  Add shallot and poblano, cook 2 minutes.  Add corn, cook 2 minutes or until corn is glossy and less starchy.  Add red pepper, herbs, lime juice and tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve.  

 

Spicy Lentil Soup + Parmesan Toasts

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Perfect soup for a snowy day, hearty and healthy with a spicy kick.  Also good served with rice or a side of sautéed leafy greens.

Spicy Lentil Soup

1 cup french green lentils

1 cup red lentils

drizzle olive oil

1 medium onion or leek, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced

2 bay leaves

few sprigs fresh thyme

1 dried guajillo pepper, sliced in 1/2 and seeded

2 quarts vegetable stock

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander seed

1 - 2 parmesan cheese rinds

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splash red wine vinegar, as needed

Parmesan Toasts

baguette bread, sliced

olive oil

parmesan cheese, grated

black pepper

For the Soup:  Rinse lentils thoroughly in cold water and carefully pick through for stones and other debris.  Set aside.  In a large soup pot sauté onion, carrot and celery in a drizzle of olive oil over med high heat until onions are clear, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, poblano, thyme and bay.  Cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes.  Add stock, guajillo, cumin, coriander, parmesan rind and lentils.  Wait to add salt until the lentils are almost done.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until green lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.  Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and maybe a little red wine vinegar.  Serve hot.  (Chopped fresh parsley and a small drizzle of olive oil are nice garnishes.)

For the Toasts:  Slice as many pieces of bread as you like.  Brush with oil and toast in a dry pan over medium heat.  Flip once and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Turn off heat.  Season with a turn or two of fresh black pepper.  Remove from pan.  Serve with soup.