Uncategorized

Roasted Broccoli with Charred Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Basil

Packing in all of the summer goodness I can with my two favorite veggies that make perfect sense together: broccoli and cherry tomatoes. Throw in a bunch of basil and the tang of a good-quality Balsamic, and you’ve got an easy, and so tasty, summer side dish.

Roasted Broccoli with Charred Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Basil

Serves 4 as a side dish

Ingredients:

1 head of broccoli, about 1 1/2 pounds, cut from the stem into florets

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, any variety

Olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar

8 large fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Put the broccoli on one of the sheet pans, the cherry tomatoes on the other sheet pan, and then drizzle generously with olive oil, salt and pepper. Distribute the broccoli and cherry tomatoes evenly on the sheet pans. Cook the cherry tomatoes for about 30 minutes, until the tomatoes release their juice, shrink slightly and char on the outside, turning over at about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, place the broccoli in the oven, turning with a spatula occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the broccoli is tender and golden brown in places. When both of the vegetables are cooked and browned, remove them from the oven and mix together with the Balsamic vinegar. Transfer the broccoli and tomatoes to a serving platter and top with the freshly torn basil. Serve right away, or this dish can be served on a buffet at room temperature.  

Serve this up with a pasta dish, grilled chicken breasts or roasted salmon filets. You could make it a vegan main by adding pine nuts, white beans or a good quality vegan cheese.

Did you make this recipe? Follow us and tag @familyfarmbox and hashtag #familyfarmbox.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Summer Corn, Smoked Applewood Bacon and Thyme

This dish is perfect for my meat and potatoes loving family and supports my mission: veggies first! Simply roasted, tender fingerling potatoes, corn straight off the cob, top-quality smoked bacon and thyme create an end-of summer-almost-fall combo. We love this as a side dish to any grilled meat, foil wrapped fish or shrimp thrown on the grill, or roasted chicken thighs.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Summer Corn, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Thyme

Serves 4 as a side dish

Ingredients:

1 pound fingerling potatoes, cleaned and cut into halves

Olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 slices of applewood smoked bacon, cut into small pieces

2 ears of fresh corn, cut from the cob

1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Distribute the potatoes on the sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil to coat (about 1 tablespoon), then season with salt and pepper to taste, about 1 teaspoon of salt and 4 cranks of pepper. Using a spatula, turn the potatoes until well coated with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then distribute evenly without crowding. Roast the potatoes for about 10 minutes, then turn with a spatula to brown on both sides. Cook the potatoes until they are golden brown and easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes total. Remove the potatoes from the oven.

While the potatoes are roasting, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the bacon, distributing evenly around the pan, and cook until the bacon’s fat has rendered and the bacon is golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Place a sheet of paper towel on a plate and remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon.

When the potatoes and bacon are cooked, mix them together with the corn and thyme on the warm baking sheet. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.  

Parchment Wrapped Sole with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Basil Pesto

Summer is here and we are eating up all the sweet cherry tomatoes coming from our backyard and the farm. Amazing fresh, I also love turning them into flavor bombs with a good oven roasting. They serve to add deeper flavor to marinara and romesco sauces, bring a concentrated burst of unami to rice pilaf, or a zing to a classic dish like sole “en papillote.” This sole, cooked in parchment paper, ticks off all the family table boxes: quick, seasonal, fresh, gorgeous and utterly delicious.

Parchment Wrapped Sole with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Basil Pesto

Ingredients

            For the tomatoes:

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

Olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper

            For the sole and basil:

1 bunch of basil leaves

1/4 cup of nuts (pine nuts, pistachios, almonds, walnuts all do well here!)

1-2 garlic cloves

2-3 tablespoons of good quality olive oil

1 pound of sole filets

1 lemon

Method

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and place the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle the tomatoes with enough olive oil to coat them, and season them with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for about 30 to 40 minutes, turning with a spatula halfway through, until tomatoes have a slight char and burst. (These can be done a day in advance)

In a small food processor or blender, combine the basil, nuts, garlic and olive oil, and blend until combined but still a little chunky. It should look like a paste, if it’s too dense, add a little more olive oil, and process more. Taste for seasoning and add pepper and salt as needed. 

Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper twice the width of the pan. Center the parchment on the baking sheet so both sides evenly drape over the sides. Place the sole filets in the center and season with salt and pepper. Evenly distribute the pesto over each filet. Cut half of the lemon into round slices, and then squeeze the remaining half over the sole. Distribute the tomatoes over the sole, add the lemon rounds on top, and pull the sides of the parchment paper together over the sole. Roll the parchment together, tightly to seal, then fold in the sides, again tightly, to seal.

Bake the sole in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Carefully unwrap the parchment paper, there will be a lot of steam that could cause a burn. Check the sole for doneness, it should be opaque in color and firm to the touch. Serve right away.  

Roasted Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa

Here’s another family favorite; a creamy, bright, zesty salsa that pairs perfectly with what’s on the summer grill, or just chips! We like to pile it on tacos or grain bowls, or drape it over grilled zucchini or chicken thighs. I love how the avocado keeps it’s pretty green color when it’s blended with the limey tomatillos. So quick and effortless, you’ll only need a sheet pan and blender, food processor or bullet to bring it all together.

Roasted Tomatillo & Avocado Salsa

Ingredients:

1 pound of tomatillos, papery skins removed, rinsed and cut into quarters

1 large onion, skin removed, cut into quarters

4 cloves of garlic

1 jalapeno, (remove seeds if you’d like the salsa mild)

Avocado oil, salt and ground black pepper

1 ripe avocado

1 bunch of fresh cilantro, stems removed

1 to 2 limes

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Pile the tomatillos, onions, garlic cloves, and jalapeno on a baking sheet, drizzle generously with avocado oil, salt and freshly ground pepper. Place the baking sheet into the heated oven and roast the vegetables until they are charred and soft, about 20 minutes, turning with a spatula about half way through.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cool for a few minutes, the place the roasted vegetables in the bowl of a food processor, blender or bullet. Scoop the avocado from the skin and add it to the vegetable mixture, as well as the cilantro and the juice of one lime. Process the mixture until smooth, then taste for seasoning. Add more lime, salt or pepper if you like. You can serve this salsa right away or store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Roasted Salmon with Fennel, Lemon & Caper Relish

Salmon is on the weekly rotation at our family table for good reason: it’s a healthy lean protein, packed with omega fatty acids, quick to whip up, and endlessly versatile. We all love it, but have our own favorite way to eat it. My daughter loves it plainly roasted, I like to pile on veggies to give it more flair, and my husband douses it with lots of lemon. A trick that I’ve learned to make everyone happy, but not make separate meals for everyone, is to create a delicious sauce that can be served on the side. My daughter will gobble it up, and sometimes be a little adventurous trying a bit of the topping, while my husband and I can feel like our gourmet sensibilities are satisfied. Here are some of my favorite spring flavors that come together in a quick saute to dress up roasted salmon, or even grilled chicken or pork.

Roasted Salmon with Fennel, Lemon & Caper Relish and Herb Quinoa

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 fennel bulb, stems and fronds removed (save for stock) and the bulb diced

1 shallot, chopped

1 garlic clove, grated

1/4 cup of white wine

1 tablespoon of capers

zest and juice of one lemon

2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

Olive oil, salt & pepper

4 6-ounce salmon filets (I used wild steelhead salmon)

Method:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the salmon filets on the paper. Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle with olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the shallots and fennel, season with a few pinches of salt and pepper, and cook until the vegetables soften and brown slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about a minute, making sure the garlic browns but doesn’t burn. Add the wine and stir, then allow the wine to reduce by half, until syrupy. This will take about 3 minutes. Next, add the capers, lemon juice and parsley, giving one final stir. Turn off the heat and taste the relish for seasoning, it should be lemony with a slight licorice taste. Add more lemon, salt and pepper if you need it.

Put the salmon filets in the heated oven and roast for about 10-12 minutes. Remove them from the oven when the salmon is pink and firm. Top the salmon with the fennel mixture, drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired, and serve.

Herb Quinoa

This super-simple side dish is another staple at our family table. Usually I double up on it so I can make quick grain bowls through the week. Two keys to terrific quinoa are thoroughly rinsing the quinoa with cold water in a mesh strainer to rinse off the bitter coating, saponin, that’s on the outside. I think quinoa gets a bad rap because people have cooked it without taking this step! The next must-do is to toast it up in olive oil with either chopped onions (green ones are great too!), shallots or garlic before you put cooking liquid in. Water or stock is your choice, and in this recipe, any herbs you choose are fair game.

Herb Quinoa

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Olive oil

1 chopped shallot (or 3 green onions or a quarter of one onion, chopped)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup rinsed and drained quinoa (the multi-colored quinoa makes a beautiful presentation!)

2 cups water (or stock, whatever you prefer)

salt & pepper

1/2 cup of chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, thyme, chives

Method:

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle with olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the shallots, garlic and quinoa, stirring frequently to combine and toast, and cook for about 1 minute. Add a generous pinch of salt and stir everything together. Cover the pan with a lid and heat to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes. When the quinoa is finished, the the germ ring will show around the outside of the grain.

Let the quinoa rest for about 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Fold in the herbs, season with a bit more salt and pepper, then taste for additional seasoning. Serve right away or cool and store in the fridge for 3 days or freezer for 3 months.

Grilled Zucchini with Basil Pesto and Orzo Salad

@dannettemitchellphotography

In my farm box came tender new zucchini and a sweet little box of brightly colored heirloom cherry tomatoes. Discovering a dreamy bundle of basil, I decided to combine two of my favorites: grilled zucchini with basil pesto and and a riff on orzo salad. Mediterranean orzo salad is a staple in my house, we make so many versions of it, sometimes adding roasted peppers, grilled eggplant, lots of lemon and zest, great olive oil, kalamata olives, thyme, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese; whatever is in the fridge that can tie it all together. My lovely spring zucchini with an herby, nutty pesto topped with one of our favorite salads is a perfect vegetarian main or side dish.

Let me know how you enjoyed this recipe, how it turned out for you and any changes you made! Please be sure to find me on Instagram to see more recipes and stories!! Or find me on Facebook Live for Kids Cook Along Classes.

@danettemitchellphotography

Grilled Zucchini with Basil Pesto and Orzo Salad

Ingredients:

1 bunch of basil leaves

1/4 cup of nuts (pine nuts, pistachios, almonds, walnuts all do well here!)

1-2 garlic cloves

2-3 tablespoons of good quality olive oil, plus more for zucchini

4 whole zucchini, stems and bottoms trimmed, cut in half lengthwise

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

1 cup of cooked orzo (just follow package instructions, rinse and drain, then coat with a light drizzle of olive to keep from sticking)

1 lemon, zested, then juiced

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Freshly ground pepper & sea or kosher salt

Method:

In a small food processor or blender, combine the basil, nuts, garlic and olive oil, and blend until combined but still a little chunky. It should look like a paste, if it’s too dense, add a little more olive oil, and process more. Taste for seasoning and add pepper and salt as needed. Remember, we are adding in feta cheese at the finish, so don’t make it too salty.

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Drizzle the zucchini with olive oil to coat, and season with pepper and salt. When grill is hot, place the zucchini on with tongs. Grill until grill marks form and zucchini is slightly softened, then flip and grill until marks show on the other side. Remove from grill and arrange on a platter. Drizzle the pesto over the grilled zucchini.

Mix together the orzo, cherry tomatoes, lemon zest and juice, and feta cheese with a drizzle of olive oil. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and salt, then dish out over the grilled zucchini to serve.

Spring Vegetable and Chick Pea Curry Bowls

I’m looking back on a happy memory as we start our fourth week of quarantine, when my dear friend Danette came to my home to shoot some dishes. Collaborating, seeing her point of view with her excellent eye, laughing and tasting food together was such an enriching and warm way to spend an afternoon. She made the food look so inviting with her take on lighting and had so many fun styling suggestions. Remembering spending a creative day with a friend is a comfort to me, as we are all under safe at home orders in California.

But we can cook! My family and I have already created so many memories in the kitchen, from baking scones, bear claws and cookies with my daughter, to making traditional Brazilian food with my husband. I have started teaching kids cook-along lessons online, and taking lots of photos of the food I’m making (although not as lovely as Danette’s) so I can share what we are making with friends and family. These moments are priceless and important, and although I miss my community, I’m growing new skills and thriving with the love of my family.

I’m making a list of all the things I’d like to do once we all are healthy and safe again, and number one includes seeing my friends. Until then, if you’d like to see some gorgeous portraiture and meet a photographer with a talent for light and whimsy, check out Danette Mitchell Photography. And here’s a dish full of spring flavors and beautiful colors that taste as good she made them look.

Spring Vegetable & Chickpea Curry Bowls

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Extra virgin olive oil

1 can (14 ounce) chickpeas, drained

Kosher or sea salt and  freshly ground pepper

2 zucchini, or summer squash, sliced

2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed from the cob

1 shallot, chopped

1 inch fresh ginger, minced or grated

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

1 1/2 tablespoons yellow curry powder

1 14-ounce can of coconut cream

Zest and juice of one lemon (zest first, juice after J)

1/4 cup fresh cilantro or basil, roughly chopped

2 cups cooked jasmine, basmati or brown rice

Sesame seeds, green onions, and sliced Persian cucumbers, for serving (optional)

Method:

Heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chickpeas and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the chickpeas begin to crisp, about 5 minutes. Carefully remove 1/2 cup of chickpeas and reserve for topping, if you’d like them as a garnish. Otherwise, just leave them in. 

To the remaining chickpeas, add the zucchini, corn, shallot, garlic, and ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the veggies another 5-10 minutes or until they just begin to soften.

Stir in the curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and stir to combine, bringing the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Cook 5-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. If the sauce thickens too much, add a little water to thin. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice, and cilantro. Taste the curry for seasoning and adjust with more salt, pepper or lemon juice if needed.

To serve, divide the rice among bowls and spoon the curry over. Top with the reserved chickpeas, green onions, sesame seeds and cucumbers.

Asian-Style Coconut Chicken Soup with Napa Cabbage, Cilantro, Carrots and Rice Noodles

DSC01120

Here’s a soup to add to your New Year reset. Hot and bright and satisfying, it’s what you need right now.

Asian Style Coconut Chicken and Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of organic coconut milk
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of sliced carrots
  • 1 cup of sliced celery
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • red chile flakes
  • 4 cups of chicken stock (homemade or good-quality boxed)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups Napa cabbage
  • juice of one lime
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ounces of softened rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves

Method:

Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Open the can of coconut milk, without shaking it, and scoop out a tablespoon of the thick coconut cream from the top. Melt the coconut cream in the pan and add the onions, carrots and celery. Saute the vegetables for about 3 minutes, until the vegetables look soft, and then add the ginger and garlic. Continue to cook, stirring frequently to prevent the ginger and garlic from burning. Add in the remaining coconut milk, fish sauce, chile flakes, chicken stock and chicken breasts. Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low for the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Check the chicken breasts to make sure they have cooked all of the way through by cutting a small cut in the thickest part of the breast. If there is no pink in the center, remove the chicken from the soup and place on a cutting board. After the chicken has cooled slightly, shred into bite-sized pieces and add back into the soup. Add the Napa cabbage and stir in the lime juice, stirring until the cabbage wilts. Taste the soup for seasoning, adding in salt and freshly ground pepper if needed.

To serve, divide the softened rice noodles into 4 bowls, ladle the soup into the bowls and top with cilantro leaves.

Valencia Oranges and Thyme

 

Flank SteakWe are a grill-loving family. Whatever the season, the ingredient, the occasion, we love to torch up the gas and load up the grate. Everything tastes better when it’s cooked outdoors over fire, it’s quick as a snap and clean up is no problem.

My friend Stephanie makes this flank steak, marinated in a plastic bag with tons of garlic, huge sprigs of herbs (how amazing is that? no chopping, just fragrance and flavor) and sliced red onions. If you’re the one to put it on the grill, she shouts, “Don’t shake anything off!” She’s vehement, and will repeat the order incessantly until you understand: Every stick of thyme and hunk of aromatic must stay on the roast while it grills. What happens is that a gorgeous, charred, pungent crust forms on the meat, and burnt little bits of flavor intensify what is already succulent and divine. It’s pretty smart, so I borrowed it, added some orange peel and juice from my farm box to make it my own, and practiced my “no shaking” growl. If you serve this up with chimichurri sauce you’ll double the flavor magic.

Grilled Flank Steak with Oranges, Thyme and Garlic

Serves 4

1 flank steak, trimmed

1 Valencia orange

1 bunch of thyme

1 head of garlic, cloves separated, skin removed, pressed flat with the side of a chef’s knife

Olive oil, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper

Place the flank steak in a gallon bag with a seal. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off of the orange, avoiding going too deep and reaching the bitter pith. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice, adding to the bag along with the orange peel. Add the garlic cloves and a good drizzle of olive oil to the bag. Generously season the steak with salt and pepper.

Seal the bag and refrigerate for 2 hours or as long as 24. Remove the bag from the refrigerator a half hour before preparing the grill. Heat a gas or charcoal grill, or grill pan, to medium high heat (about 400 degrees.) Place the steak on the grill, retaining as much of the herbs and garlic in the marinade on the surface of the steak. Cook until char marks form, about 5 minutes, then turn and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Steak will be cooked to rare to barely medium rare. Move the steak to the cooler side of the grill, pour remaining marinade over the steak, and cover and cook to desired temperature, about 5-7 minutes for medium rare, 10 minutes for medium. Remove from the grill and rest for 10 minutes, then slice into very thin slices across the grain to serve.

 

 

 

 

Green Beans and Tomatoes

green beans with sundried pesto2Our family was hit hard with the bug. Just like the mighty sequoias we had visited the week before, we went down in a huge way. Standing one moment, felled the next. One after another. It was urgent and devastating and all encompassing, but after we headed into recovery, we all had the same experience: Nothing tasted good. We craved little but water and tea. We checked in with our appetites and reviewed our greatest hits: Lasagna? Meh. Roasted chicken? So complicated. Salad? Forget about it, too much chewing. The one thing we had in common is that everything we tried tasted like cotton candy, cloying and sweet, even without the presence of sugar. The flavor note that finally struck for us was umami.

Umami is that distinct savory, earthy flavor that is found in glutamate-rich foods. We found that miso soup and avocado rolls survived our whacked-out palates, a soup of coconut broth, fish stock, bok choy and packaged potstickers,  and, surprisingly, this dish of roasted green beans, sundried tomato pesto and charred cherry tomatoes.

 

DSC00287

Green Beans with Sundried Tomato Pesto and Charred Cherry Tomatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half (about 3 cups)

Olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, drained of oil

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the green beans on a sheet pan evenly, and season generously with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven, turning occasionally, until the green beans brown slightly and turn bright green, about 20 minutes. Green beans are ready when they are tender, but crisp.

On a separate sheet pan, spread the tomatoes on the pan evenly, and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until the tomatoes start to char and pop, and the juices start to caramelize, about 30-40 minutes. Shake pan occasionally to redistribute tomatoes and char evenly.

In a food processor, mini prep processor or blender, combine the sundried tomatoes, garlic, thyme, balsamic vinegar along with a glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning.

To serve, gently combine the green beans, charred cherry tomatoes and sundried tomato pesto with a set of tongs. Taste for seasoning, place on a large platter and enjoy.

green beans with sundried pesto

1 2 4