Saturday, July 18, 2009

Box #7, #8, and #9

I'm finally catching up on blogging! The good news is that we're plowing through our veggies but just haven't had time to document it all.

Sadly, we gave our box #7 to friends since we were out of town. The box contained one of my favorites - sugar snap peas. Our friends just had to mention they were the best they've ever had. *sigh*

We made a stop home during vacation (between Michigan and going back to Wisconsin for a long weekend at the cabin) just for our veggies. We used some veggies at the cabin but the rest were left at home. The week following the 4th, Owen was really sick and I can't even remember what we made to eat but I do know that we used a lot of veggies. So, that week is forever lost. But here are the few things that we documented making with boxes 8 and 9.

Traditional Caesar Salad
(recipe from

This was our first attempt at making a traditional caesar salad. We don't order them at restaurants unless we know they're the real deal. None of that creamy white "dressing", please.

2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 tablespoons safflower oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 (2 ounce) can anchovy filets
1 egg
1 French baguette, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 large head romaine lettuce - rinsed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
  2. Prepare the dressing in a glass jar by combining the garlic, oil, salt, mustard, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, and lemon juice. Rinse anchovy filets under warm water, pat dry on paper towels, and roughly chop them. Place anchovy in jar with other ingredients. Cover with tight fitting lid and shake to mix.
  3. To coddle the egg, bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Carefully lower egg into water; remove from heat and let stand for 1 minute. Remove and set aside to cool. Crack open the egg and with a spoon, scrape out all yolk (even the runny white). Use a wire whisk and whip in a small bowl until very frothy. Pour egg to the rest of the dressing and mix well.
  4. Prepare the croutons by combining the bread cubes, melted butter, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and 1 tablespoon grated cheese. Toss well to coat bread, then place in a single layer on a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Prepare salad in a large bowl by combining the romaine, 1/2 cup grated cheese, dressing and croutons to taste. Toss well to coat and serve.

Baked Rigatoni with Italian Sausage and Fennel
(Recipes from

This is one of my favorite pasta bake recipes. I feel the need to pause for a moment and explain my obsession with While there's a lot of crap on there, you can also find some hidden treasures. I love reading the reviews and seeing how people manipulate the recipe to make it better. We found this recipe last year and have made it several times.

1 pound hot Italian sausage links
1 (16 ounce) package rigatoni pasta
1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce
1 bulb fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (we use a lot more)
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Fry the sausages in a large skillet over medium heat, turning frequently until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove from the skillet, cool slightly and slice into rounds. Add the garlic, fennel and onion to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, then add the roasted red peppers, basil, sliced sausage and pasta sauce. Heat through over low heat until warmed.
  3. Combine the pasta with the sauce and vegetables in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Spread the mozzarella, Parmesan and Asiago cheeses over the top. Garnish with a few fennel leaves left from the bulb. Cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove the aluminum foil. Set the oven to broil, and cook for another 5 minutes or until cheese is browned.

Grilled Pizza with Beets and Goat Cheese
(Found through random google search on

I love finding recipes that use not only the root but also the greens. We are doing so much better this year using all the vegetables, including the green tops. And combining beets with goat cheese is just heavenly. Our favorite pizza dough recipe can be found in Baking Illustrated.

1 pound beets with greens
Extra virgin olive oil ( 3 to 4 tablespoons, divided)
Salt and pepper
1 shallot, minced
Dough for 1 pizza, either homemade or store bought
All-purpose flour, semolina or cornmeal, for dusting
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Cut beet greens from the beets and reserve. Trim the stems from the beets and peel them. Then cut them into 1/2 inch cubes and spread them on the foil-lined pan. (Some juice will come off on your hands and the cutting board, but you can get most of it off if you wash your hands and any surfaces right away) Drizzle the beets with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and papper, stirring or tossing with a spatula to coat completely. Loosely cover the pan with another sheet of aluminum foil and cook in the oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour, removing the foil after about 20 minutes. Beets should be tender when pierced with a fork. Reserve until you're ready to assemble the pizza.

  2. Meanwhile, remove any tough stems from the beet greens and roughly chop them. Wash them thoroughly and dry them in a salad spinner or by squeezing them gently in a clean dishtowel. In a skillet heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil, tilting pan to spread over the bottom of the pan. Add the shallot and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is translucent. Add the greens and cook, turning with a spatula, until they begin to wilt down. Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, until wilted and tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. Make your pizza dough. Dust the pan with flour or cornmeal and form the dough on the pan. Brush the pizza with olive oil, and evenly spread the roasted beets and beet greens over the pizza. Sprinkle evenly with crumbled goat cheese. If using a pizza peel and a stone, carefully slide the pizza off the peel onto the pizza stone. If using a pan, place pan in the oven. Bake at 400˚F for 10 to 15 minutes, until exposed crust is turning golden and firm, and goat cheese is beginning to turn light golden. Let pizza rest for a few minutes, then cut into wedges.

Grilled Pork Chop with Grilled Summer Sqaush and Cabbage Slaw
(Slaw recipe from ... can you guess?

Mike's Mom has made this slaw many times since I've known her and it's absolutely delicious. I can't find the exact recipe we used (I think we just adapt whatever recipe we can find).

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 (3 ounce) package chicken flavored ramen noodles, crushed, seasoning packet reserved
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup sliced almonds (toasted, if you prefer)
1/2 medium head cabbage, shredded
5 green onions, chopped
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, ramen noodle spice mix (we did not include this), salt and pepper to create a dressing.
  2. In a large salad bowl, combine the cabbage, green onions and crushed ramen noodles. Pour dressing over the cabbage, and toss to coat evenly. Top with toasted sesame seeds and almonds.

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