Category Archives: recipes

Making Oven-Dried Tomatoes

We can’t really buy anything fancy down here (yes, dried cherries, rye flour, and rice vinegar fall in that category) plus making stuff from scratch is fun, so we (meaning I) make oven-dried tomatoes every week, for sandwiches and pizza.

Here’s how. Take some sliced tomatoes, and squeeze out the part with the seeds. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little brown sugar if you are so inclined. In a few minutes the tomatoes will begin sweating our their juices.
Oven-dried Tomatoes Step 1

All right, then put them in an oven at 200F. After a few hours, the tomatoes’ liquid has evaporated off, leaving sweet, richly flavored, tomato-y goodness.
Oven-dried Tomatoes Step 2

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Red Lentil Soup

I got some good feedback on this soup last night so for you and for others here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 package of red lentils
2 medium onions

3 large cloves garlic

10 cups water, chicken or vegetable broth
2 Tbsp. cumin

1-2 lemons

Procedure:
Dice the onions to about 1/4 inch.
Mince the garlic very fine.
In a large soup pot, heat a few Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, add the onions.
Toss 1 tsp. of kosher salt over the onions and reduce to medium heat.
Let the onions cook down, stirring occasionally, until they have released their moisture and it has almost entirely cooked off. They onions should be very soft and slightly darker in color.
Now add the garlic and cumin and cook for only 1 minute.
Add the lentils and water or stock and increase heat to high.
When the soup boils, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. You might need to add a little more water.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Slice some lemon into eighths and squeeze some fresh lemon juice into each bowl as you serve it.

From squash to soup

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Big blue hubbard squash.

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Sliced it open and roasted at 375F for about 2 hours.

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What it looked like when I took it out.

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I picked out the seeds and stringy stuff and threw them out. Picked out the good stuff and kept it.

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Simmered for about 40 minutes with carmelized onions, a chopped pear, fresh ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vegetable stock.

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Finished with fresh parsley and a bit of cream.

Best pancakes ever

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Damn these pancakes were good. I found a recipe for crepes on epicurious.com and changed it up a bit. It didn’t make crepes, it made pancakes, and they were delicious.

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour (I used half whole wheat and half white pastry flour)
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, margarine, or shortening, melted and cooled slightly
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (for brushing skillet)

Directions

1. Whisk together flour, milk, eggs, shortening, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until just smooth. Be careful to not overmix or wonderful things might not happen. Chill covered for 30 minutes.

2. Heat up a cast-iron or non-stick skillet. When the pan is warm, brush lightly with butter.

3. Use a measuring cup and pour into the center of the skillet about 1/2 cup of batter. Use the bottom of the measuring cup to spread the batter around slightly.

4. Cook the pancake until the edges start to firm up and it is bubbling (probably 2-3 minutes), then use a spatula to flip the pancake and cook on the other side for another minute. Then, flip again to the original side for another 15 seconds.

5. Keep making pancakes in this manner, brushing skillet with more butter before each one and transferring them as cooked to plate and stacking them.

You can put jam, maple syrup, powdered sugar, etc. on them. Amazing!

Basil Pesto

basilThis is the time of year here for basil. In the weekly shares from Tantre Farm these days, the CSA where I am a member, we get 1 huge basil plant each week. If you place a whole basil plant with roots in a vase or pot with water it will stay good for a week. But after that it starts to get nasty, and it can be hard to use so much. So here is a recipe that takes care of that problem.

Ingredients

Enough fresh basil leaves to fill a food processor (packed well)
2 large cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
2/3 cup parmesean cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts

1. Cut the garlic cloves into a few smaller pieces and chop until fine in the processor.
2. Put the basil leaves in the processor, turn it on and add salt and some of the olive oil slowly until all the basil is blended.
3. Add the pine nuts and parmesean cheese to the processor and pour in the rest of the olive oil.
4. Add black pepper and more salt if you think it needs it.

If you want to make it vegan, just leave out the parmesean and add a bit more salt. Also, pine nuts are pretty expensive so you can experiment with substitutes like walnuts.

This makes quite a bit of pesto, so you can either serve it up to a bunch of your friends, or freeze it and use it throughout the winter. You can do this either of two ways. You can freeze the pesto in ice cube trays (freeze overnight and then place into plastic bags and leave in freezer). Or you can make pesto cookies and freeze them on a baking pan in the freezer. When they’re frozen you can put them in a ziploc. Enjoy!

Israeli Arabic/Israeli/Mediterranean/Jerusalem Salad

No this is not some metaphor for the situation in Lebanon or Israel or Palestine right now. Someone suggested I post recipes to this site and I thought that was a great idea so here goes. I would like to mention that I am posting this because it is delicious and perfect for the summer heat and not because of current events. Although it might be appropriate to note that even the most aggressive and corrupt states can produce some wonderful things (for example suspension bridges and the US Postal Service).

Ingredients

1 tomato
1 cucumber
1/2 red onion
1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 small clove garlic (optional)
1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)

1. Dice the tomato, cucumber, red onion, and garlic if you want into small cubes (about 1/4 inch) and place in a bowl.
2. Toss the diced vegetables with the rest of the ingredients.

This tastes great on top of almost anything. It makes a good breakfast mixed with some plain yogurt.