Rooted in local fresh taste
Members of community supported farms reap the rewards of fresh and tasty produce.
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Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add half of the oil or butter and the drained vegetable. Spread evenly in the pan and gently press down with a spatula. Reduce heat to low-medium and cook uncovered until nicely browned on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes.Skip to next paragraph
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Place a flat platter over the pan and, wearing a pair of oven mitts, invert vegetables as a single patty onto platter. Return pan to heat, add remaining oil or butter and slip unbrowned side of the cake of squash back into the sauté pan. Continue cooking until bottom side browns, 5 to 10 minutes.
Serve as is for a side vegetable, or flavor with fresh herbs, spices, lightly browned garlic, or caramelized onion. Serves 4.
Freshly harvested beets have such magnificent flavor that I never embellish them with anything but a touch of seasoning. Beets are best simmered slowly in enough salted water to cover, unpeeled. Removing the peel after cooking and dicing is a messy but unavoidable task. But peeling beets before simmering takes away some of the flavor and dulls its beautiful ruby red color.
1 pound beets
1 teaspoon salt
Butter or cooking oil
Pepper, to taste
Cut greens off the beets – but not too close to the bulb itself. Leave the root end intact. Wash beets and place them in a cooking pot large enough to fit and cover with water and 1 teaspoon salt. Discard greens.
Bring the water and beets to full boil, then lower heat to a gentle simmer. Cover the pot and let simmer for 30 to 40 minutes for small to medium beets, 50 to 60 minutes for large ones. The beets are done when a skewer penetrates them easily.
Drain and rinse in cold water for a few minutes for easy handling. Wearing rubber or latex gloves, cut both ends of the beets and slip off the skin.
Slice or dice beets, then return to the cooking pot with a small dab of butter or olive oil. Heat over moderate heat while shaking the pan. Season with nothing more than a shake of salt and few grinds of pepper. Serves 4 as a side dish.
When you have several kinds of fresh vegetables available stir-frying is an easy and tasty option. Preparation does take some time, but can be done in advance. Cooking takes minutes.
The beauty of stir-frying is that you can substitute whatever vegetables you have on hand. But be sure every item is fresh. And be sure never to stir-fry longer than 2 or minutes. Exception: Dense-root vegetables may take up to 5 minutes.
3 tablespoons vegetable or chili oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into small wedges (or 4 scallions, greens included, chopped coarse)
1/2 green pepper, cut into coarse strips
1/2 red pepper, cut into coarse strips
1 medium summer squash, sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup snow peas, strings removed
1 cup bean sprouts, rinsed with hot water
1 bunch of sturdy green leaves (kale, chard, bok choy, or napa cabbage), coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Line up ingredients in the order they will be cooked, from slower-cooking items to lighter vegetables last (as arranged above). Mix salt, sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl.
Heat a wok or large sauté pan over high heat. When hot and smoking (about a minute), add oil, swirl around, add onion and stir-fry for 30 seconds. If using scallions, stir-fry for only 15 seconds. Keep them moving continuously.
Quickly add peppers and squash, stir-fry for 1 minute. Add garlic and ginger, stir-fry for a few seconds then toss in snow peas, bean sprouts, and greens, stir-frying for another minute.
Drizzle in soy sauce mixture, stir, remove from heat and serve over steamed rice. Serves 4.