Friday, November 21, 2014

Sweet Pickled Daikon Radish

A kitchen filled with Daikon is a kitchen filled with love.
Thanks Jennifer! I love pickling: the process and the rewards to enjoy in winter! Thanks for testing this one for us.

1 C. Rice Vinegar
1 C. Water
1 C. Sugar
1 # Daikon Radish
1/4 tsp Tumeric
1/4 C. Salt

Combine vinegar, water, saugar and tumeric in saucepan and bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Peal Daikon (if skin is tough) and slice into 1/4'' thick rounds. Place in colander with salt and mix well. Place colander over a bowl and let drain for 1 hour. Rinse the salt off and dry diakon well.

Put daikon into glass jar and cover with brine. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

(The website source says it'll keep for 2 weeks, but I would imagine it's closer to 2 months or more, just based on my novice pickling experience.)

This recipe was adapted from :

Friday, October 17, 2014

Concord Grape and Rosemary Focaccia: A Harvestfest Potluck Recipe

Gayle brought this unique dish to the potluck last weekend and what a treat. I think it's a deliciously complex experience for your mouth. Thanks for expanding our tastebud horizons!

Yield: makes 16 servings
Active time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Special equipment: stand mixer with dough hook

This recipe appears in: Bake the Book: Concord Grape and Rosemary Focaccia


• 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

• 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

• 1 cup water, warmed to about 110°F

• 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

• 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat all purpose flour)

• 2 teaspoons fine sea salt

• 3/4 pound Concord grapes, stems removed

• 3 small sprigs fresh rosemary, stemmed

• Coarse sea salt


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Lightly coat a 9 by 13-inch
metal baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the oil.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, mix the yeast, water, 3
tablespoons of the oil, the sugar, flour, and fine sea salt on low speed until a ball forms,
3 to 4 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer, pour 1 tablespoon of the oil over the
dough, and rub with the oil to completely coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set
aside to rise until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.

Cut the grapes in half and remove the seeds, keeping the skins with the grapes, if they
come away from the fruit. Set aside until ready to use.

Transfer the risen dough to the prepared baking dish and evenly press the dough into the
pan, covering the entire surface. Dock the dough with your fingertips, making holes all
the way through. Drizzle the dough with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with
rosemary needles, grapes and skins, and coarse sea salt. Lightly cover the pan with plastic
wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in size, 20 to 30 minutes. Carefully remove the
plastic wrap and bake until golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the center of
the focaccia reads at least 200°F, 20 to 25 minutes.

Let the focaccia cool in the pan until warm. Slice and serve with ice cream (if using).

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sweet Potato CornBread

Joanne, of Aspinwall, has another wonderful 'share' for us. Thank you Joanne!  She notes, 

''There are lots of pudding, pie, and Thanksgiving type recipes for sweet potato; but one of our favorites is sweet potato cornbread. Enjoy..."

She found this one thru White Lily of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

375 degree Oven

Full Recipe                                                                             Half Recipe
2 tablespoon Vegetable Oil in 12-inch cast iron skillet            1 tblsp. Oil in 8” skillet

10 minutes preheat skillet(s) in oven.

1 1/2 cups Flour                                                                     3/4 cup
1 1/2 cups Corn Meal                                                            3/4 cup
3 teaspoons Baking Powder                                                 1 1/2 tsps.
3/4 teaspoons Salt                                                                 3/8 tsp.            

Combine dry ingredients.

1 cup Mashed Sweet Potato                                                 1/2 cup
3 Large Eggs                                                                          1 Egg plus an extra Yolk
1 1/2 cups Milk plus 1 tblsp Vinegar                              3/4 cups Milk with 1/2  tblsp. Vinegar
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil                                                             less than 1/4 cup
1/2 cup Sugar                                                                        1/4 cup

Combine sweet potato, eggs, and milk. 
Add oil and sugar. 
Combine in dry ingredients.
Pour into preheated skillet(s).

Bake 45-50 minutes                                                              Bake 35 minutes.

Done when golden brown and springy or toothpick comes out clean.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Curried Red Lentil, Kale and Sweet Potato Soup

This one comes from my Mom (RDN approved). Thanks Mom!

1 TBPS Coconut Oil
1 Medium Yellow Onion, finely diced
1/2 Jalapeno, minced
2 tsp peeled minced fresh Ginger
1 large Clove Garlic
2 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Salt
3 TBPS Tomato Paste(I used fresh tomatoes for the same flavor)
5 Cups Water
1 13.5 ou. can Coconut Milk
1 C. split Red Lentils ( I used regular ones, just fine)
1 Medium Sweet Potato (8-10 ou., peeled, diced 1/4-1/2'')
1 bunch Kale
3-4 TBPS chopped cilantro
Thick Whole Milk Yogurt. for serving

Melt oil in large soup pot. When it shimmers add the onion. Cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes, adding jalapeno, ginger, garlic, and curry powder and salt as you prepare them, and stirring occasionally.

Add tomato paste, and cook a few more minutes, storing until a film  forms on the bottom of the pan. Add the water, coconut milk, lentils, and sweet potato, and bring to simmer.

Reduce heat to low and maintain simmer partially covered, and storing occasionally about 1/2 hour, until lentils are tender and partially broken down.

Meanwhile, slice(rip) kale from stems. Tear leaves into 1-2'' pieces. Add to the pot when soup is done. Simmer until kale is wilted, tender about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Top with dollop of yogurt.

If soup thickens stored in the fridge, add more coco milk/water/stock if needed.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Creamy Summer Pasta and Simple Kale Salad

Thank you to Kelly ,who picks up at Commonplace in Squirrel Hill, for 2 Recipes to make one great meal! 

Serves 2 hungry people
Scant half pound small shell shaped pasta (or other shape, of course, but l love small shells with the corn!)
Olive oil
1 big + 1 small leek, sliced into half moons
Kernels from 2 ears of corn
Most of the pint of multicolored cherry tomatoes, halved (what we didn't eat out of the container first!)
2 oz plain chevre
Fresh basil

Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Make sure to reserve a half cup or so of the starchy pasta water before draining! Meanwhile, saute leeks in a large skillet in olive oil until very soft. Season with salt (I used a lemon-basil-thyme salt I had) and red pepper flakes (or black pepper). Add corn and cook a few more minutes, then add cherry tomatoes. Cook just until tomatoes are hot. Add cooked pasta and a ladle of the cooking water to skillet, stir until liquid thickens. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove from heat and stir chevre into pasta mixture until it's creamy and pasta is coated. Top with basil chiffonade and eat! 

Followed this up with a simple kale salad, also enough for two people:

1 or 2 cloves garlic, depending on tolerance
about a teaspoon of salt
1 lemon
olive oil
4 or so cups of torn or chopped kale (three big leaves, minus big stalks)
Good parmesan or romano cheese

Mince garlic with salt very finely, then mash with flat side of knife to form a paste. Add to salad bowl and whisk with juice of one lemon and a bit of black pepper. stream in olive oil while whisking. Add kale to bowl and massage dressing into kale leaves with your hands (important to really get in there!) Let it sit for at least 10 minutes, or longer. Grate cheese over top, give it a final toss, and eat. (In the same bowl you had your pasta in, if you hate dishes like I do)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Layered Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomato Casserole

This one's from Monica who picks up at our stand at the Pittsburgh Public Market. Thanks Monica! I seriously just put Feta on my shopping list. 

Monica writes "I have a recipe for yinz. It is so incredibly delicious! I adapted it (pretty significantly) from a recipe I found on Food & Wine’s website to use up some veggies that I hadn’t touched yet from the prior week(s)! Here’s my version:

2 Patty Pans (zucchini works too)
1 large eggplant, cut lengthwise into ¼ in. pieces (I sliced mine REALLY thin)
2 leeks
2-3 tomatoes, cut into ½ in pieces
4 cloves of garlic, minced (I love garlic. A lot)
4 oz. feta cheese
2 oz-ish parmesan cheese ( was pretty generous with the parmesan on top)
¼ c chopped basil
1/3 c breadcrumbs

1.       Prehead the oven to 425. Oil a large baking sheet and line up the zucchini/patty pans and eggplant, they can overlap a bit.  Then brush them with olive oil and sprinkle a little salt on them.  Bake for 10 minutes, until tender.
2.       Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat up a little olive oil. Add the chopped up leeks and garlic, and cook over moderate heat for a few minutes, then crank up the head and add the tomatoes. Cook for a minute or two, until bubbling.  I added some salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried basil with the tomatoes.
3.       Oil a square baking dish then lay everything in layers (use half of each ingredient in the layers so you can –  Eggplant, tomatoes, feta, zucchini/patty pan, a sprinkle of parmesan, More eggplant, tomatoes, feta, zucchini/patty pan.
4.       Top it all off with breadcrumbs mixed with a bit of parmesan cheese and a 1T of olive oil. 
5.       Pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 425 and enjoy!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pasta w/ Bacon and Leeks

This one comes from Jason and Monica who pick up downtown at the Stanwix Street building. Thank you for offering an answer to the mystery of leeks. Sounds delicious. Really.

Jason mentioned, "Monica and I have been making this pasta dish with leeks for some time now and it is amazing. Most will probably be tempted to add more bacon than the recipe calls for but I suggest that you try it at least once as is,  fight the urge. That way the smokey bacon taste is still invited to the party but doesn't overshadow the leeks and thyme."


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 pound pappardelle or fettuccine
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano

  • Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring often, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 5-8 minutes. Add leeks and season with salt. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until leeks begin to brown, 5-8 minutes. Add cream, thyme, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 5-8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
  • Add pasta, Parmesan, and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce and stir to coat. Increase heat to medium and continue stirring, adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta.

Fish, Leek, & Potato “Gratin” Casserole

Thanks to Joanne and Eric in Aspinwall for this versatile recipe.  Already made it and enjoyed it last night! An answer for Leeks!

NYT’S or Williams-Sonoma or other websites
Here is the version I made with what I had on hand.
Cook time:  1 hour 30 minutes.  Serves 4.

375 degree oven
Grease large oval gratin or baking dish.

1 ½ pounds white potatoes (peeled or not)
Cut crosswise into THIN uniform slices, half size of leeks.
Arrange half potato slices in greased dish, overlapping to cover bottom.
Season lightly with salt & white pepper.

2 well-washed, halved & rinsed leeks
Cut leeks into slices twice as think as sliced potatoes.
OPTIONAL:  Lightly sauté leeks for 3-4 minutes or until soft.
Scatter half the leeks over the potato slices.

1 pound Cod, Haddock or other white fish fillets, thickly sliced on the diagonal
Salt & white pepper fish to taste.
Arrange over leeks.
Top with remaining leeks.
Top with remaining potatoes.
Season with salt & pepper.

1 cup heavy cream or other dairy
OPTIONAL:  Can replace dairy with chicken or vegetable broth, clam juice, &/or white wine.
Pour evenly over layers.

Bake 40 minutes.
Remove from oven & spoon liquid over potatoes.
Bake 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.

Saffron strands; lemon or lime juice, slices, or zest; garlic; sautéed onion &/or celery; diced tomato; mushrooms; grated cheese; bacon; ham; crumbled sausage; thyme; parsley; bay leaf; nutmeg; curry; capers; chives; dill; cayenne; jerk

Add cream to sautéed leeks, cooking until it bubbles thickly. Cool and purée until smooth.
To make more like a soup add 1 1/2 cups cream & 14 ounces chicken broth & cube/dice potatoes.
Can top with bread crumb & butter topping.

Can serve with sourdough bread or salad.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Stuffed Eggplant

Thanks to Amanda in Monroeville for this savory eggplant idea. We've had more eggplants this year than ever before, so we appreciate the new ideas.

She notes: "I started with a real recipe then kind of made this one up-the original used a breadcrumb/parsley mixture on top and some different cheese, but ours ended up pretty good. Everything in this recipe was from the CSA or our own garden except the cheese, although I think the Smoked Havarti from last week would've worked, we'd just eaten it already."

Cut eggplant in half lengthwise, hollow out (approximately half an inch from the edge).  Put the halves aside-- I salted them heavily and let them sit for a half hour or so to help with the bitterness of eggplant, then rinsed them before proceeding.
Take the stuff you scooped out of the eggplant and chop-- I let mine sit in salt water, then rinsed twice before moving on.
Brown a pound of ground beef (I used the yummy, lean CRO package), add seasoning as desired (I used some minced garlic and an Italian herb mix).
Add the chopped eggplant and some chopped kale (that wasn't in the original recipe).  At this point, I took my portion out to stuff my half, then added chopped orange bell pepper (from our garden-- original recipe was for a red bell pepper and I'm sure whatever kind you like would work) and some of the candy onion that we'd previously caramelized.  I don't like pepper and onion, but my husband does, so this was for his half.
Fill the eggplant halves to overflowing, top with chopped tomato (I used heirloom tomato from our garden, we started them from seeds from the heirlooms we got with CRO last year) and grated parmesan.
Place in a glass dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  I added some shredded cheddar to mine for the last 15 minutes of bake time-- I'll probably try a somewhat stronger cheese next time, but that's what I had sitting around.  The eggplant was really soft after that long, so if you like your eggplant crisper don't cook it as long.

Baked Zucchini/Yellow Squash/Eggplant/Tomato Chips

This one comes from Joanne who picks at Feast in Aspinwall. It is an amazingly versatile, adaptable, customizable dish that'll make your mouth water just thinking about it. At least mine is. Thanks Joanne!

Oven 475F/245C to 500 degrees
Parchment paper covered or greased baking sheet.
Preparation 10 minutes. Cook time 15 minutes.  Total 25 minutes.

2 medium squash/veg
Cut into 1/4 inch or less slices.  Thinner slices will be crispier.

1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs or panko
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese or other grated cheese
Salt, garlic or onion powder/salt, Italian, taco, or Cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes, chipotle powder, herbs, basil, oregano, chives, rosemary, thyme, etc.

1 beaten egg or 2 whites or Eggbeaters
Oil, hot sauce, minced garlic, minced onion, etc.

Dip squash in wet ingredients or place all squash in plastic bag & wet-coat at once.
If using plastic bag, drain egg from bag by cutting a hole in the bottom.
Dip squash in dry ingredients or place all squash in plastic bag & dry-coat at once.
Can repeat this process to add extra coating.
OPTIONAL:  spray or paint with oil/butter.
Place on parchment covered or greased baking sheet.
Can prep ahead of time & put in oven just prior to serving.

Bake 5 minutes.
OPTIONAL:  spray or paint with oil, add more cheese.
Bake 10 minutes, until browned & crispy.

Can be served topped with mozzarella cheese &/or with spaghetti sauce, ranch dressing, etc.
Use to make zucchini/eggplant Parmesan.