Archive for the ‘spud!’ Category

It was unbelievably hot this week.

The Child and I were flying solo on dinner and I did not have it in me to cook.  Having been home less than a week, the cupboard was still really bare.  Unless somehow I was going to work magic with evaporated milk, a can of crushed pineapple, and a little lonely leftover baked chicken thigh from the night before… we were out of dinner options.

But our produce delivery from spud! had arrived the day before.  I had one nectarine which seemed ripe enough to eat, one heirloom tomato left, and a single scallion.  Found some flour tortillas and some lettuce in the fridge, and I set to work chopping, muttering lines from The Princess Bride, “Why didn’t you list those among our assets in the first place??”

A quick salad was born of nectarine, tomato, scallion, and a minuscule amount of leftover chicken. It was lovely.

Nectarines and tomatoes are prolific at farmers markets this time of year, and I highly recommend giving this combo a try.  Child loved it, and she beat me to the single second helping.

Nectarine, Tomato & Scallion Salad

1 Nectarine, chopped
1 Medium to Large Heirloom Tomato, chopped
1 Scallion, chopped
1 Cold Chicken Thigh, chopped (any small amount of leftover protein will do – pork chop, steak, crumbled bacon, etc. – even canned black beans – or leave the protein out altogether)

Chop.  Salt.  Mix.

Serve as is, or wrapped in warmed, buttered tortillas with some chopped romaine hearts.

Makes about 3 wraps.  Feeds one mom and one ravenous kid.


Read Full Post »

Apparently it’s Incredible Ingredient Wednesday!  Who knew?  The box of veggies from spud! arrived yesterday, and tonight for dinner The Child and I had Black Knight Carrots grown by Tutti Frutti Farms in Northern Santa Barbara County.  They were dark and dirty and merely different until I went to peel them, at which point they became jaw-droppingly beautiful.  The Child heard me *gasp* and came running to see these glorious things!!

So I just had to photograph them.

Then I came back in the kitchen to chop ‘em up for dinner.  And *gasp* squared!!  I soon had a pile of sliced, purple, polka-dot carrots.  Sheer awesome!

They taste pretty much like a regular carrot raw, but I wanted to see how they cooked up.  Typically I roast my carrots in the oven, but tonight I wanted to take advantage of the color.  So I rough chopped some onion and sauteed both with olive oil, Penzeys Garlic Salt, and fresh ground pepper.  Then I added a cup or so of homemade stock and slapped a cover on while it simmered away at medium heat for a bit.  When the carrots were nearly cooked, I took the cover off and let the sauce reduce down while I nuked some leftover water buffalo chuck roast from the weekend.  Voila!  Dinner is served in 20 minutes tops.  Ha!  And I was worried we would starve with The Spouse out of town.

Black Knight Carrots and Onions with leftover water buffalo chuck roast

The carrots typically found at most markets are orange, but they also come in red, yellow, white, and as I found out today…  purple.  And it turns out that this tasty taproot probably originated as red, yellow or purple wild varieties in Afghanistan, before the Dutch developed the first recorded orange carrot in the 17th Century.  We don’t have room for anything but container gardening at our condo, but if you are looking to add a little purple pizzazz to your garden this summer, why not get some Purple Dragons from Seeds of Change and report back on how easy or difficult they are to grow.

Every different color on the plate is a different package of micronutrients.  Sometimes, kids are more interested in sampling a familiar food in a different format.  The kid eats peas, so try crunching some sugar snap peas.  They like carrots, so here is a purple one.  You like purple food?  Maybe you’ll dig beets next week.  Advocating variety is easy to preach, but some families might need baby steps first.  There are families out there struggling with a limited number of ingredients which sidestep drama, especially veggies.  And carrots are often on the shortlist.

Obviously this recipe works for any variety of carrot, including the humble orange one at the grocery store.  But if you stumble across specimens at the farmer’s market or specialty market, it is worth taking the risk.  This was the best $3.27 I have spent in a long time, and The Child loved it.  Thank you spud!.  I just hope I’ll be able to order them again next week.

When you get carrots home, remove the tops to preserve their flavor longer.  I remember reading that carrot greens are inedible but cannot remember where, and when Kevin Gillespie prepared a well received dish using them on Top Chef it made me wonder.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one, and there is an excellent post about the various thoughts on the matter of carrot tops over at The Upstart Kitchen.

Sauteed Black Knight Carrots and Onions

One small bunch of Black Knight carrots, sliced into rounds
One large onion, rough chopped
Olive oil
Penzeys Garlic Salt
Fresh ground pepper
~1 cup homemade stock, wine, or water

Saute carrot slices and onion in olive oil.  Season with Penzeys Garlic Salt and pepper, or your personal spices of choice.  Once the onion has started to brown a bit, add about a cup of homemade stock.  Cover and simmer on medium heat.  When the carrots were nearly cooked (not quite fork tender), uncover reduce any remaining liquid until it gets syrupy.  Serve warm.

Read Full Post »