Monthly Archives: December 2012

Broccoli, Romanesco Cauliflower, Butternut Squash

Roasted Broccoli, Romesco Cauliflower

These cold, and short, winter nights call for homey, rustic, and quick dinners. This pasta has several make-ahead components that come together in a snap. Flavorful roasted broccoli, Romanesco cauliflower and butternut squash can be prepped in advance, if you like, then tossed along with the pesto (make that up to 3 days ahead), pasta water and pasta when you’re ready to serve.

Whole Wheat Fusilli with Roasted Broccoli, Romanesco Cauliflower and Butternut Squash with Red Pepper Pistachio Pesto

Serves 4-6

1/2 cup of roasted red peppers, either from a jar or roasted over a gas flame, skin, stem and seeds removed

1/2 cup of shelled, roasted, low or no salt, pistachios

1 packed cup of basil or parsley

Olive oil, sea salt & pepper

1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets, using part of the stems as well

1 cup of Romanesco cauliflower (or cauliflower if Romanesco is not available), cut into bite-sized florets

1 cup of butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes

5 cups of uncooked whole wheat fusilli pasta, preferably organic

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shavings.

In the bowl of a food processor, blend the roasted pepper, pistachios and herbs with enough olive oil to form a “paste.” Season with salt and pepper and hold in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Heat oven to 375 degrees, and place broccoli, cauliflower and squash on 3 separate baking sheets. Drizzle with enough olive oil to coat the vegetables, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, the broccoli will take about 10 minutes, the cauliflower will take about 15-17 minutes and the squash will take 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and hold until ready to serve pasta or store in fridge for up to 2 days to reheat later.

Fill a large stock pot with water and a handful of sea salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. When water is at a rolling boil, add pasta and cook for about 10 minutes, until slightly firm to bite (al dente.) Reserve a cup of pasta water, then drain. Return the pasta back into the pot, and add the hot vegetables (if you have cooled them, reheat them in the oven), the pesto and enough pasta water to make the pesto form a thick sauce to coat the pasta and vegetables. Add Parmesan cheese and serve.

Green Cabbage, Carrots, Kohlrabi

Little Shop of Horrors

Did your farm box have a “Little Shop of Horrors” head of cabbage in it? I managed to fit this huge beauty into three dishes. I served this slaw with Beef Stew in Red Wine with Root Vegetables.

Winter Slaw with Lemon Fennel Dressing

2 cups shredded cabbage, green or red

2 beets, grated

2 carrots, grated

1/2 cup of seasonal vegetables such as red onion, shallots, fennel, radish, turnip or kohlrabi

A handful of fresh soft herbs (use mint, fennel, dill, parsley and chervil), leaves picked and chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 tablespoon of stone-ground mustard

1 teaspoon of fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

Extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper

Mix the vegetables together with the fresh herbs. In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, mustard, fennel, yogurt, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour enough dressing over the slaw to coat the vegetables, then taste for seasoning. Adjust with additional lemon juice, salt, or pepper as needed.

Carrots, White Turnips and Baby Maui Onions

White Turnip

I borrowed this beef stew recipe from Jacques Pepin, as I loved its simplicity and deep flavor. It’s so adaptable to whatever root vegetables that you get in your farm box, and the white turnips were particulary nice.

Beef in Red Wine with Root Vegetables

2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 2-inch pieces

olive oil, salt & pepper

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon flour

1 bottle of red wine

2 bay leaves

1 sprig fresh thyme 

4 cups of seasonal root vegetables, such as baby onions, carrots, parsnips, kohlrabi, potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon of organic sugar

Lemon juice

Chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oven to 350°. Heat olive oil in a cast-iron pot enamel pot (Dutch oven.) Arrange the meat in one layer in the pot, and season it with salt and pepper. Cook on top of the stove over high heat for about 8 minutes, browning the meat on all sides.

Add onions and garlic to the pan. Cook over moderate heat for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tablespoon of flour. Mix in well so that the flour doesn’t form lumps. Stir in 1 bottle of red wine. Add 2 bay leaves, a sprig of fresh thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir well and cover.

Place the pot in the oven and continue to cook for about 1 1/2 hours; the meat should be soft and tender and the liquid reduced, rich and flavorful. The recipe can be prepared to this point up to a day ahead. Cool the stew, cover and put into the refrigerator.

 In a sauté pan or skillet, heat olive oil. Add root vegetables to the pan and sauté until browned and softened. Add water, sugar, salt and pepper, bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, until vegetables are fork tender. Stir the vegetables and a small handful of parsley into the stew, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, taste for seasoning and serve.

beef stew with white turnips

Farm Box Day

farm box day dec 6 2012

We made a full shift into winter this week with an array of brassicas, from the geometric marvel, Romanesco cauliflower to emerald green broccoli, creamy white turnips and tight, crisp heads of cabbage. The rainbow chard was as vivid as stained glass, almost too beautiful to eat. Fuji apples were welcome as a snack and in a crunchy slaw, and Satsumas were juicy and candy sweet. Yellow wax beans, baby Maui onions, baby kohlrabi and our favorite farm box carrots completed the bounty.

It takes imagination to put winter vegetables to task, and I was happy to have my friends Stephanie and Tanya over for a farm box cooking party. We pooled our shares together and came up with quite a few dishes that will keep our families looking forward to more winter crops:

 Crispy Sweet Potato Cakes with Green Cabbage-Fuji Apple Slaw and Citrus Creme Fraiche

Whole Wheat Fusilli with Roasted Broccoli, Romanesco Cauliflower, Butternut Squash and Pistachio Red Pepper Pesto

Herb Roasted Chicken with Cauliflower-Kohlrabi Puree with Brown Butter and Onion Rainbow Chard Saute

Wild Rice, Red Lentil and Vegetable Soup with Slow Cooked Turkey Broth

Beef Stew with Red Wine and Root Vegetables and Winter Coleslaw with Lemon Fennel Seed Dressing