6/18/18

Strawberry-Cucumber Simple Syrup

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Strawberry-Cucumber Simple Syrup

Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Basic | Diet: V/GF

If you have any berries that are less than perfect, you can use them in this recipe! And, once you know how to make a simple syrup, you can make it with almost anything. Change up the fruit, add spices, mix in herbs...the sky's the limit. 

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups organic sugar
  • 5 ripe strawberries
  • a few hunks of cucumber
  • a smidgen of salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to the consistency of maple syrup. (In classic recipes, they'll say that you want the liquid to be thick enough that it coats the back of a spoon). 
  2. Remove from heat and let cool. When it's cook, strain out the strawberries and cucumber. I like to save them, and mix them into yogurt. 
  3. Use the syrup to make homemade soda, or cocktails. You can also drizzle it over ice cream.

Arugula Salad with Strawberries & Lemon-Honey-Yogurt Dressing

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Arugula Salad with Strawberries & Lemon-Honey-Yogurt Dressing

Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Veggie Side | Diet: GF  

You can make this salad with any dressing that you'd like. Toasted nuts or sunflower seeds would be a great addition, if you have them. 

  1. Wash and dry arugula (if it needs it, if it's already clean, I don't bother)
  2. Rinse and slice strawberries.
  3. Toss the arugula and strawberries with the dressing. 

 

Lemon-Honey-Yogurt Salad Dressing

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Lemon-Honey-Yogurt Salad Dressing

Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Condiment-Dressing | Diet: GF

This simple salad dressing is great with spicy greens, such as arugula.

  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons shallot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • a few shakes black pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients, and stir. Taste for seasoning. If it needs more salt, lemon juice, honey, black pepper, add them. 

Swiss Chard Wraps with Spiced Rice & Black Beans

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Swiss Chard Wraps with Spiced Rice and Black Beans

Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Average | Season: All | Type: Main Course | Diet: V/GF

Don't have rice? You can wrap all kinds of other things up in chard leaves! Quinoa, sweet potatoes, refried beans, cheese, the list goes on. 

  1. Wrap the chard leaves around the rice and black beans, as described in the chard leaf recipe. 
  2. Combine the tahini, garlic, salt, and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Thin with water until the sauce reaches a drizzle-able consistency. Taste the sauce....does it need more salt, lemon juice, or garlic? Add 'em! 
  3. Drizzle the sauce over the wraps, and serve. 

Blanched Chard Leaves

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Blanched Chard Leaves

Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: Summer/Fall | Type: Basic | Diet: V/GF

This recipe is a simple technique for cooking big green leaves just enough that you can roll them around a filling, and eat them! It's a great strategy for those who are avoiding gluten.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Wash chard leaves, and trim the stems just below the bottom of the leaves. You can save the stems for another use. 
  3. Dunk the leaves in the boiling water, and let them cook for 30 seconds. 
  4. Scoop out the leaves, and place them in a large bowl. Immediately run cold water over the leaves, to stop them from cooking. 
  5. Using the point of a sharp knife, cut out the bottom third of the stem. The cut will be in the shape of a slender v.
  6. To wrap a filling in the chard leaf, place around 1/2 cup filling in the center of the leaf. Fold up the bottom of the leaf (the place where the tough stem that you just excised used to be), and the fold in the sides. Once the sides are folded, roll the leaf the rest of the way, to the tip. Voila!  

 

Spiced Rice with Dried Fruit

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Spiced Rice with Dried Fruit

Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Starchy Side | Diet: V/GF

This makes a perfectly lovely side dish on its own, but can also be used as a filling for chard or cabbage wraps, or as a base for a casserole. If you have a robust selection of spices in your cupboards, you could add anything else that you think would be complementary. 

  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups jasmine or Basmati rice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup dried currants, raisins, golden raisins, or cranberries
  1. In a medium pot, bring the water to a simmer. Stir in the rice, seasonings, garlic and dried fruit, and turn the heat to low. 
  2. Cover and let simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir after 15 minutes, and add a little more water, if needed. 
  3. When the rice is done, taste it. Does it need more seasoning? You could add additional salt and pepper, stir in more garlic, or drizzle on a little vinegar or lemon juice, if you want a bit of acidity. If you eat dairy, you could add some butter, which would give it a creamy mouthfeel.

Mad River Grain Toast with Goat Cheese Spread, Lettuce & Smoked Salmon

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Mad River Grain Toast with Goat Cheese Spread, Lettuce & Smoked Salmon

Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Snack/Appetizer | Diet: Omnivore

This simple but elegant toast makes a great snack, but you can also pair it with a nice salad and some soup, and make it a meal! 

  1. Preheat your broiler on high.
  2. Cut the bread into slices that are as thin or as thick as you'd like.
  3. Put the bread slices on a sheet pan, and brush with a little bit of oil.
  4. Broil until slightly toasted on one side. Turn, and do the same to the other side. 
  5. When the bread is cool, spread with goat cheese. 
  6. Top with lettuce. If the leaves are bigger than the bread pieces, you can cut them down to size. 
  7. The smoked salmon from Starbird fish is not pre-sliced, so you could make it into big flakes with your fork, and place the flakes on top of your toast. If you happen to have sliced salmon, instead, just drape a slice or two over the toast. 

Garlicky Cucumber, Dill, Lemon & Goat Cheese Spread

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Garlicky Cucumber, Dill, Lemon & Goat Cheese Spread

Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Condiment | Diet: Veg/GF

This goat cheese spread is infinitely malleable. In place of the lemon zest, cucumber, dill and garlic that are used in this recipe, you could substitute any allium (chive, red onion, scallion), any herb (parsley, cilantro, thyme, mint), and a wide variety of spices (paprika, cumin, coriander, etc.). 

Its uses are as broad as the ingredients you can throw into the mix. It can be tossed with hot pasta as a light, creamy sauce. It's great as a sandwich spread. You can dollop it onto a salad as a garnish. Use it to top an omelette or frittata. Or simply use it as a spread on raw or roasted veggies. 

  • 1 tub goat cheese
  • a couple glugs of olive or sunflower oil
  • 1/8 cup diced cucumber (you want the cubes to be pretty small)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (I like to use a microplane for this)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • a few grinds or shakes of pepper
  1. Put the goat cheese in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  2. Add a couple tablespoons of oil, to make it creamier. You could also mix in softened butter, if you prefer.
  3. Add all of the flavoring ingredients, including the cucumber cubes, dill, garlic, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper.
  4. Stir the goat cheese with a fork or a wooden spoon. Taste the goat cheese, and figure out if it needs anything else. If you want it to be more tangy, add more lemon juice. If it tastes a little flat, try some additional salt. Is there anything that would make it more wonderful than it is?
  5. Once you're happy with the flavor, you're ready to spread, dollop and dot it onto anything you desire.