All posts in “Seasonal recipes”

Spring Vegetable Ragout with Goat Cheese Polenta

Spring Vegetable Ragout with Goat Cheese Polenta, Rosemary and Smoked Sea Salt

Well hello mushroom. Would you like to come with me? I think you would love to play with my other friends like asparagus and carrots. And silky polenta. You know them, they are my springtime friends. You will get along very well with them.

Morel season is just beginning in the mid south. Somewhere near the majestic oak, strewn in along in the small depressions where moisture collects, maybe on a north-facing slope. I try to explain why I find them where I find them. I don’t think I can. They are a mystery. They are an amazing gift of springtime.

This recipe comes in anticipation of finding the beautiful morels around where I live in mid-appalachia in April. I decided it would be perfect with the meaty portabello, too. With either,  this mushroom dish holds the celebration of spring vegetables together with strength and substance, and they all have a chance to shine.

There’s a video for some visual fun. I hope you enjoy!

Maria

 

 

Spring Vegetable Ragout over Polenta with Goat Cheese, Smoked Sea Salt and Rosemary
 
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Polenta with Goat Cheese, Rosemary and Smoked Sea Salt Recipe Type : Entree Author: Maria Baldwin Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 20 mins Total time: 25 mins Serves: 4-6 servings
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup medium to coarse ground cornmeal
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • ½ tsp. smoked salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary or ¼ tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 portabello mushroom
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 large-ish shallot
  • ½ lb. asparagus
  • ½ c. sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for about 10 minutes.
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1½ cups vegetable demi-glace (recipe from ChefSteps - or - Better Than Boullion Sauce
  • ½ cup red wine
Instructions
  1. Cook the polenta by adding 1 cup polenta to 4 cups of simmering salted vegetable stock, stirring as you add the polenta. Continue to stir until it becomes somewhat thick. Add the goat cheese, sea salt and rosemary for a fabulous thick and silky polenta. Set aside to keep warm an
  2. Prepare recipe "mise en place" by assembling the vegetables, slicing them, and gathering the other ingredients together.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in the medium saute pan over medium to low heat on the burner.
  4. Saute shallot until tender and beginning to turn translucent.
  5. Add the other vegetables to the pan, beginning with the carrots, then the mushroom and then the sun-dried tomato and asparagus. Saute for about 5 minutes, or just until tender, then remove vegetables from the pan.
  6. Add ½ cup red wine to the pan and stir to deglaze and loosen bits from the surface for flavor.
  7. Add the brown vegetable demi-glace. Stir in a slurry of 2 tsp cornstarch with ¼ cup of water to the sauce. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes to start to thicken. When the sauce has become silky and slightly thickened, and the remaining sundried tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes more.
  8. Add vegetables back to the pan and bring to a simmer for just a few minutes. Serve the silky mushroom and spring vegetable ragout over the goat cheese polenta.
  9. Ciao!
Notes
This is a quantity for 2 generous portions. Double the recipe if need be.
 

Italian Almond Gremolata

Springtime Almond Gremolata

Ciao bella gusto! Hello beautiful taste! Wake up your spring dishes with this classic Italian garnish or topping, From spring lamb to roasted potatoes, grilled or sauteed asparagus, pan roasted fish, scrambled eggs, sauteed spinach… and on and on. There are so many ways to enjoy this simple, yet sophisticated, addition to the palate and the plate.

Springtime Almond Gremolata from Maria Baldwin on Vimeo.

Springtime Almond Gremolata
 
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Create a pop to any dish by adding this classic Italian garnish to meats, vegetables and fish. It's a perfect addition to your menu in the springtime,
Author:
Recipe type: Garnish
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • ½ bunch Italian Parsley, de-stemmed
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ c. raw almonds
  • 1 Tbsp, lemon juice
  • salt and cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients to the bowl of your food processor and pulse and process to a medium coarse chop.
  2. Will keep fresh in the refrigerator for about 1 week.
  3. Serve atop grilled meats and fish, as well as roasted vegetables, potatoes, and even simple scrambled eggs.
 

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Delicata Squash with Cranberry Bean Cassoulet

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This fall has been a beautiful season of appreciation for me – in the kitchen, out in nature and in my personal life. As Thanksgiving approaches, I am almost overwhelmed with gratitude this year. My husband and I were able to move to the mountains of North Carolina, back to my family home, to spend a dedicated time with family through the illness and passing of my father. I owe him a huge debt of thanks for the many profound life lessons he shared with me and for the very heightened appreciation of nature and the outdoors.

My emphasis on seasonal eating is very much wrapped up in how I was raised and the rhythm of life that was instilled in me through the way my family lived in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. Our garden was a focal point of everyday life, and so it is for me still. What is in season is the predominant question I ask myself when thinking of food and nourishment.

This delicata squash and bean cassoulet, another dish from my love affair with the Rhubarb Restaurant of Asheville, NC, highlights the seasonality of the late summer and autumn garden. Having a stock pile of winter squashes in the pantry and jars of dried beans leads to endless possibilities in the kitchen.

 

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Kale, Beet and Strawberry Salad

It’s officially spring and “From the garden to the plate” found here. STRAWBERRIES ABOUND!  As does KALE AND BEETS!   If you are lucky enough to be near a year round farmer’s market, then you will come face to face with all of these farm fresh foods! If you are shopping at the market, then no worries – they are going to be the foods your nearest farms are producing in early spring.  We all want to “eat local”, yes?

Kale, Beet and Strawberry Salad

Spring kale is the backbone of this healthy and nutrient rich salad.  Contrary to what you may think, it is both tender and crisp and holds up perfectly to the rest of the salad.

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Prepping for this beautiful salad couldn’t be easier!

  • Roast beets in the oven wrapped in foil at 350, then peel and slice.
  • Wash, hull and slice strawberries.
  • Slice red onion as thin as possible then add white vinegar to pickle.
  • Peel and slice the oranges (colorful blood or cara cara oranges are beautiful!)
  • Soak the kale in cold water, then drain, coarsely chop and squeeze fresh orange juice on the kale.  Massage the kale to further tenderize before assembling the salad.

Pickled red onions

Pickled red onions are a great staple in the refrigerator for adding crunchy goodness to any salad. A mandolin slice makes this a breeze, but it’s not necessary.

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A simple vinaigrette in a mason jar will dress this salad perfectly to accompany any main protein, or top the salad with your protein… shredded roast chicken, grilled shrimp, poached or smoked salmon.

Change it up and let this salad be your go-to spring substrate to a healthy meal again and again.

Simple Vinaigrette
 
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 1 juice of one lemon or orange
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a small canning jar with lid and shake, shake, shake!

 

 

An Inspired Salad Red Salad

My trip to the Farmer’s Market this week made me SEE RED!  It really was completely unintentional.  I didn’t walk around and look for RED FOOD.  I didn’t scorn the beautiful yellow plums or the plump purple concord grapes.  I just found myself subliminally attracted to the variety of beautiful vermillion selections that popped out everywhere I looked.

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It started when I spotted the lovely red butter lettuce SKYPHOS.  We have grown this lettuce on the farm for many seasons, and it has been a favorite of the chefs consistently.  It has a very mild flavor, but also it has some “tooth”. It holds up to the bite and doesn’t collapse under the dressing.  It is better than ANY RED LEAF LETTUCE you will ever find at the grocery.  I promise.

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This head of lettuce invited me to mentally celebrate the salad I was going to make as I made my way from farmer to farmer at the market.  I took note of a small, heirloom watermelon and had to ask – what type of melon is this?  “A pink heirloom variety” was the answer, and as quick as you can say seed spitting contest, it became a part of the salad in my head.

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Is this a summer salad or a winter salad?  It’s and END OF SUMMER salad, and so there aren’t any rules that say you cannot mix beets and watermelon.  After all, they are both in season, as crazy as that sounds!

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The beets were steamed to soften and then a rough uneven cut made perfect salad toppings of this root specimen seasonal crossover.

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Shaved so thinly you can see through the porous cells of the red onion, a very nice flavor boost is provided by this addition to the salad.  The familiarity and subtle bite of sweet red onion is a great compliment to the sweetness of the berries and the earthiness of the steamed red beets.

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The “dressing” for my RED SALAD is a simple drizzle of fresh squeezed blood orange juice and walnut oil (or olive oil is great, too). I used some chopped shallot and a bit of dijon mustard to add some complexity to it, and seasoned with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.

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Our Scarlet Salad from the Farmer’s Market this week was a real celebration of simplicity and seasonal satisfaction.  It was the perfect compliment to our grilled fresh fish – Wahoo Filets from the fish monger.  A perfect Saturday evening meal.

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Spaghetti Squash Topped with Egg and Roasted Veggies

I have decided to deem a new season… it’s the 5th season actually.  I’m going to call it END-OF-SUMMER! As a farmer, you can’t imagine what it’s like!  You are in the halcyon days of the spring and added to that, it’s fall veggie season, too!  It’s called End of Summer. Put it on your calendar!

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These beautiful summer garden specimens, like padron peppers, green zebra tomatoes and other heirloom varieties, became a lovely weeknight supper in a hurry by simply roasting in the hot oven with a little olive oil and salt, then adding to this beautiful fall champion….

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DRUM ROLL…..SPAGHETTI SQUASH!!

Please, someone tell me why, these seemingly WINTER VEGETABLES, like spaghetti squash, for example, worked SO WELL with the true summer heavy hitters like peppers and tomatoes?  It surprises me every time I put them together.  I know, however, that at the END-OF-SUMMER, our tastebuds are ready to teeter totter on the edge of the chasm, knowing that falling either way will be a fabulous fall, and that falling both ways is even better.

so, I am ready for the future, but not quite willing to let go of the past, and therefore have decided to wallow in the present.  I LOVE END-OF-SUMMER!

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And so, in a bit of a hurry for a weeknight meal, I decided to throw all my ideas in the oven at once while I threw down a few yoga poses in the living room, adding fresh sage to the mix to push myself a little bit more into the END-OF-SUMMER mode.

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After about 45 minutes, the sage leaves became crisp and smoky, the summer vegetables sultry and forbidden, and the roast chicken, well since it’s a farm chicken, it’s texture and flavor were perfectly satisfying with the crispy, sage infused skin.  It is such pleasure to see the parts of this meal come out of their cooking cloak and onto the plate.  Such ease.

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Simply cutting in half the roasted spaghetti squash, removing the seeds, and then scraping the stringy flesh out of the skin with a fork, with just two more simple steps you have a complete, albeit simple, dinner .  Number 1 – add the roasted vegetables and sage to the spaghetti squash and 2) stir in a few turns of the cheese grater of parmigianno reggiano cheese!  Season with s & p, of course.

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 VOILA!  END-OF-SUMMER supper in no time!  All seasonal, all farm fresh, all delicious.

And…there’s more!

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Breakfast the next morning!  Economize, right?

I hope you will try this and any other combination of things on either side of the season that you can think of! Share your ideas with us, too, please!

 

Check out what I mean about this END-OF-SUMMER bountiful season! Here are a few actual photos from my past week at farm and farm markets! It’s really abundant and really a blessing to have this season – End-of- Summer – to appreciate and enjoy.

 

 

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