Posts Tagged vegetables

Farmer’s Market Fresh Meal

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Lobster Ravioli, fresh peas and sugar snap pea pods make a fast healthy dinner.

We are so excited that the Avila Beach Farmer’s Market is back!  It makes dinner so much easier.  And ooooh, the spring goodness we can find there.  We were pulling a long day at the tasting room and Mr. Vino suggested hitting the Farmer’s Market for dinner.  I think that he was thinking to pick up some fish tacos.  Me, I hit the produce guys and the fresh pasta guy for this riff on a recipe from Cooking Light.  And oh, my – it was amazing with our new 2016 Beach Blonde Pinot Grigio!!

Pea and Snap Pea Pasta
6 oz fresh sugar snap peas (get 8 ounces cuz you are going to eat some of them while prepping)
1 C fresh shelled peas
3 T really nice olive oil
Juice and grated lemon peel from one fresh lemon
2 oz shaved Asiago or Parmesan
Salt & Pepper
Radish Microgreens (yep, back in the day we called them “sprouts”)
Lobster ravioli (or other delicate pasta like Pappardelle.  It’s vegetarian with plain pasta!!)

This is so dang easy it’s almost embarrassing and the whole thing comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.  Once boiling, add snap peas and cook until they turn really bright green (1 minute or so – don’t overcook).  Remove the snap peas with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl of cold water to shock them.  The drain on paper towels.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook per package instructions.  Add the fresh peas during the last 30 seconds.

While pasta is cooking, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Whisk to combine.  When pasta is done, drain pasta and pea mixture.  Add pasta, peas and snap peas to bowl and toss lightly to combine.

Plate pasta and top with shaved cheese and microgreens.  Don’t have Asiago or Parm?  This also is really nice with Feta.

Fresh, healthy, delicious.

 

 

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Panzanella Salad

Serve with Morovino Barbera or Sangiovese.

Panzanella is a lovely salad made from rustic bread and tomatoes. It’s a really nice alternative to a pasta salad for a potluck or buffet. I like to make this with the amazing breads from Avila Barn (the Jalapeno/Asiago and the Rosemary Garlic breads are AWESOME in this salad). Use the best olive oil and balsamic you can.

1 loaf “interesting” bread (like garlic/rosemary sourdough bread)
3 ripe tomatoes diced
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped finely
1 clove minced garlic
1 t. garlic powder
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 T. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
¼ c. nice olive oil (dressing)
Extra olive oil to drizzle (while cooking bread)
2 T balsamic vinegar

Preheat your broiler. Chop the bread into crouton size pieces. Put the bread on a cookie sheet. Drizzle it lightly with olive oil and sprinkle it with garlic powder. Put the bread under the broiler until it begins to lightly color. Pull the tray out and stir the bread cubes around to make sure they are lightly toasting on every side.  Let cool.  In a large salad bowl, combine bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, garlic, basil and thyme and toss. You can make it ahead to this point. It will hold for a couple of hours. Prior to serving, add ¼ c. of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar and toss again.  Great crunch, tangy, garlicky perfection.

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Veggie Stock – it’s EASY

When Mrs. Vino first started receiving her Cal Poly CSA produce box, she found herself using many more veggies than usual (a good thing). Unfortunately, it seemed to take a VERY long time to clean and prep the veggies after a long, hard day slaving in the tasting room (a not good thing). And sometimes the veggies got a bit wilted before she could get to them (a really not good thing). Then Mrs. Vino remembered something her friend Roxanna had told her about saving the wilted veggies and veggie scraps/off cuts to make stock. Now, Mrs. Vino has a freezer full of delicious, nutritious veggie stock to use for soups, stews, crockpots, risotto (particularly delicious), etc. AND, cleaning veggies is no longer a chore, it’s Cooking! Here’s what to do:

Start with two one-gallon freezer bags. These will be your scrap bags. You will keep them in your freezer – yes, I keep the empty bags in my freezer too, so I know they will always be there. Everytime you go to prep a vegetable – put the peelings and off cuts in the bag in your freezer. These are just some of the things I put in there: onion peels, potato peels, peelings from carrots, cucumbers, beets, rutabegas, beet tops or other greens that have wilted beyond wanting to eat, cilantro stems (be careful how many of those you add, they are strong), wilted basil leaves, peelings from ginger root, tomato tops-not the stem-just the tomato part, cabbage cores, ends and strings of string beans . . . you get the picture! Put any clean, non rotten/non moldy piece of veggie into the bags in your freezer.

It won’t take long for you to fill up two freezer bags (takes me about a week). I usually start my stock when I start making dinner. Take a large pot and put your veggie peelings in it. Rinse out the empty freezer bags and put them back into your freezer. Add water to the pot to cover the veggie peelings (about 6 cups). Add 1 t. salt, 3 garlic cloves split in half (you don’t even need to peel them), 3 bay leaves and a pinch of red pepper flake. Bring the water in the pot to a simmer. Then ignore it for 2-3 hours. OK, the first time you make this, keep your eye on it so it doesn’t boil over. After that, you’ll know the right burner setting to just keep it at a simmer.

After 3 hours, pull the pot off the stove and let it sit there to cool down a bit. Before you go to bed cover the pot and put it in the fridge to steep overnight. And, clear a little space in your freezer, you’ll need it the next day.

The next morning, AFTER COFFEE, pull the pot out and strain it into a container. Pull out your muffin tins (come on, we ALL have them buried in a cabinet somewhere). Use a ladle and ladle the broth into the muffin tins – you will find that each muffin tin holds about 1/2 cup (one standard ladle full) of broth. Place the muffin tins in your freezer and go to work.

After work, pop the broth ice cubes out of the muffin tins and put them in a clean new freezer bag and store them in your freezer. Now anytime you need broth for a soup, stew, risotto, or just to add a bit of liquid to a pan, you can just add a broth ice cube and know that it is approximately 1/2 cup of broth.

I know it seems complicated and seems to take 2 full days. It’s really easy and the end result of the broth is healthy and delicious. QUICK NOTE: If you use beets in your veggie broth it will end up a very interesting pinkish color. I used that to make a risotto that ended up being a bit . . . unusual to look at, but tasted delicous. Just to be aware, in case you don’t like pink food.

Frugal doesn’t mean cheap, it means using the best possible food products and using them to their fullest.

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