Friday, September 03, 2010

Double Secret Grilled Vegetables

Sort of like double secret probation right?  This recipe is from my friend Robin and it is, as she says, "killer delish."  It has two secret ingredients that make it so good.  Secret ingredient number one:
really, what isn't good with blue cheese on it?

Secret ingredient number two:

Not so secret anymore!

I started with some yellow squash from our garden - they probably should have been picked a few days ago but it's been busy and with the CSA I've had a lot of produce on hand.  But I didn't want them to go to waste so that's what I used.
The recipe, as I made it, is as follows:

Grilled Vegetables with Double Secret Sauce

3 large yellow squash*
1 nectarine or peach, thinly sliced
1 red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup good balsamic vinegar, plus extra for marinading
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for marinading and sauteing
1 tablespoon good quality blue cheese (I used Pt. Reyes blue cheese)

Slice the squash into rounds about 1/4" thick.  Toss with some balsamic and olive oil to marinade while you make the sauce.  For the sauce, saute the finely diced onion in a bit of olive oil until the onions soften and just barely begin to brown.  Then add in the 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the blue cheese.  Stir to combine and melt the cheese...keep warm.

Spray a grill pan with oil and heat up on the grill (Robin recommends this pan - I have one just like it but it's flat and it works well too).  Add the veggies and cook over medium high heat for a few minutes and then lower the heat to medium.   When the vegetables are about halfway done, add the sliced nectarine.  Continue grilling, tossing occasionally so that everything gets evenly cooked.  When they are done, toss with the balsamic sauce.  

*Note on veggies:  Robin says you can use just about any veggie just try to keep them a consistent size.  I made it once with a big mix of veggies and it was very good - use what you have!

We eat a lot of grilled vegetables and I love how this recipe, with its two secret ingredients, really change things up.  Thanks Robin :-)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Terra Bella Family Farm CSA: week fourteen

Wow.  So hard to believe that we are fourteen weeks into the CSA.  It's one thing to have this vague feeling that time is going quickly but it's another to be keeping track like this!  The CSA newsletter said they had a lot of tomatoes and they weren't kidding...the tomatoes are varied, beautiful and incredibly good.  This weeks share included:

Swiss chard
parsley or basil
squash or cucumbers
sweet peppers
Bibane roasted pepper and herb bread

I am attempting to participate in NaBloPoMo this month....this month's theme is ART.  So we'll see how I can tie that in!  Of course I think a lot of food is art just on its own - and if you play with the pictures and mess up some pixels you get a pretty piece of tomato art ;-)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Cauliflower Curry

Probably not the greatest picture ever taken but such a simple-to-make dinner that I wanted to share.  I know I've confessed before how much I love my crockpot.  There's nothing better than coming home to a dinner that's ready to go.  It is awesome in the summer too because we often have very hot days but the evenings can be quite breezy and cool once the fog from the bay rolls across the hills.  So it's hot enough that you don't want to be at the stove but by dinner time something warm and comforting sounds really good.  That's how this came about.  I had some beautiful cauliflower from the CSA and was in the mood for some kind of curry or stew to go on rice.  But I was really not in the mood for recipe searching, modify and shopping.  So I gathered a few simple ingredients, dumped them in and crossed my fingers :-)  I used a Thai red curry paste but the resulting dish was more like an Indian curry.   Since we couldn't decide, dh declared it Burmese.  Whatever, it really took less than five minutes to get it into the crockpot and then I just let it cook all day.  Along with some brown rice in the rice cooker we had a delicious dinner with minimal effort.

Cauliflower Curry

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (don't make them too small, they break down quite a bit)
1 lb. yellow split peas, rinsed and picked over
 14oz can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
32 ounces vegetable broth
14oz can light coconut milk
2 tablespoons red curry paste

Toss it all into the crockpot and cook on high for 5 hours then reduce to "keep warm" setting until ready to eat (this works best if you have a crockpot you can program).  Season with salt to taste. 
 Serve over brown rice.

We ate this with plain yogurt on the side and lots of different spicy mango and hot pickle relishes.  You have to read the labels but there are red curry pastes out there that don't have any fish/shrimp in them.  I believe that the Thai Kitchen red curry paste is both vegan and gluten free.

We're gearing up for someone to head back to school - shopping, packing - and this someone also got a new stick (you know, the essential back to school supplies!)