Plant It Forward

Caponata Siciliana

Caponata Siciliana

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

This sweet and sour eggplant dish originated in Sicily. It’s a beautiful dish for summer because it uses all the best vegetables of July and August – eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and herbs.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups diced eggplant (skin on)
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for frying
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup diced spring onion (red or yellow onion can also work)
  • 1½ cup seeded and diced bell peppers, assorted colors
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • Pinch dried red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons capers, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus more to soak raisins
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons raisins or dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped pitted black olives
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large, deep skillet or fry pan, heat extra virgin olive oil (should be enough oil to reach a ¼ inch up the side of the pan). When the oil is hot, cook the eggplant in batches until browned all over; drain on paper towels.
  2. Place the ¼ cup olive oil in a medium skillet along with the onion, peppers, and celery. Set over heat and sauté until the vegetables are wilted and beginning to color at the edges, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the red pepper flakes, thyme, and capers, and season with a little salt and black pepper.
  4. Add the vinegar and sugar and cook to reduce.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked eggplant, raisins, olives, pine nuts, basil, and parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Cook 5 minutes to marry the flavors. The eggplant and celery should be tender but still firm. Taste again for salt and black pepper.

Notes

Caponata can be served warm, but it is traditionally served at room temperature. It’s even better the day after it’s made, when the flavors have had time to mingle and develop. Served it on toasted bread bruschetta, or as a side dish for grilled fish or meats

http://plant-it-forward.org/caponata-siciliana/

VERMICELLI NOODLE SALAD with SHAVED VEGETABLES AND MISO GINGER DRESSING

VERMICELLI NOODLE SALAD with SHAVED VEGETABLES AND MISO GINGER DRESSING

Cook Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 6 - 8

Recipe from CulinaryCorps Chef Rusty Obra.

This recipe was based off a Filipino noodle dish that my mom prepared for special occasions and family gatherings called Pancit. It is a vegetable heavy side dish that is served to counter the meat heavy dishes normally on the table. When I first saw the beautiful produce, my mind immediately went this direction to prepare and share for you. Any vegetables can be used but some were blanched and shocked in ice water to keep its color and crunch!

Ingredients

  • 1 8oz package Rice Vermicelli Noodles
  • 2 Carrots
  • 3 Radishes, assorted varieties and trimmed
  • 1 cup Confetti Tomatoes
  • 4 Mini Bell Peppers (any color will do)
  • ½ cup Snow Peas, trimmed
  • ½ cup Green Beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ cup Purple Green Beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • For the Miso Ginger Dressing:
  • ¼ cup Purple Basil Leaves
  • ¼ cup Mint Leaves
  • 1 bunch Parsley Leaves
  • ½ cup Raw Peanuts
  • 2 Chiles, seeded and deveined
  • 3 tbsp Ginger, grated
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 tbsp Miso Paste
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. For the Noodles: a) In a large stock pot, fill it about ¾ of the way with water and bring to a rolling boil. Season with a generous pinch of salt. Take the noodles out of the package and place in the boiling water. Immediately shut off the heat and allow to soak for about 10 minutes. Drain well in a colander and place in a mixing bowl. Add about ½ of the miso ginger dressing and toss to coat. Allow to cool in the dressing. b) Have three bowls of ice water handy. c) Peel the carrots with a peeler and shave them into long strands using the peeler. Place into the first bowl of ice water to allow to crispen up. Using a mandolin, thinly shave the radishes and add to the first bowl of ice water. Reserve. d) Slice the bell peppers into thin rounds and set aside. e) Pick off any stems from the tomatoes and cut in half if needed. If they are really small, you can leave them whole. Rinse under cold water and pat dry. Reserve. f) Bring another pot of water to a boil and add a generous pinch of salt. g) Add the snow peas to the water and blanch for 30 seconds and immediately shock into the second bowl of ice water. After it chills, take it out and pat dry. Cut into thin strips and reserve. h) Repeat blanching each of the beans in the same water, cooking for 30 seconds and shocking them. Allow to cool completely. Take out and pat dry.
  2. For the Miso Ginger Dressing: a) Combine all the herb leaves into a small bowl and set aside. b) In a dry saute pan over medium heat, lightly toast the peanuts until browned. Reserve and set aside. c) In a blender, place the chiles, ginger, garlic cloves, miso paste, lemon juice and 2/3 of the reserved toasted peanuts. Blend to a rough paste. Add the herbs and about ¼ cup of the olive oil to the paste. Blend until it starts to be smooth. Gradually drizzle in the remaining olive oil to form a dressing. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. For Assembly: a) Take the noodles out of the bowl and arrange on a pile on a platter. b) Combine all the vegetables in the bowl and gently toss with half of the remaining dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle evenly over the noodles. c) Garnish with the remaining 1/3 of the toasted peanuts and drizzle any remaining dressing you may have.
  4. Enjoy!

Notes

Difficulty: 2; Special Equipment: Mandoline, Peeler, Blender

http://plant-it-forward.org/vermicelli-noodle-salad-with-shaved-vegetables-and-miso-ginger-dressing/

Eggplant and Onion Salad

Eggplant and Onion Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 shallots, chopped finely
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1 lb. bag eggplant, eggplant cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. Thai green curry paste
  • 2 Tbsp. Thai soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 4 oz. block creamed coconut chopped, or buy Goya canned cream of coconut
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • Small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Small handful basil leaves, chopped
  • Small handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 oz. /2 ½ cups arugula leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce

Instructions

  1. Heat half the oil in a wok or large skillet and cook all the onions together for 1-2 minutes, until just softened but not browned. Lift out and set aside. Cook the eggplant cubes, in batches if necessary, adding more oil as needed, until they are crisp and golden brown. Return the onions to the wok and add the curry paste, soy sauce, and sugar. Add the creamed coconut and water and cook until dissolved. Stir in most of the cilantro, the basil, and the parsley. Toss the arugula in the sweet chili sauce and serve with the eggplant and onion salad. Garnish with the remaining herbs.
  2. Recipe from: Perfect Thai Cookbook.
http://plant-it-forward.org/eggplant-and-onion-salad/

Baked Chicken With Lemon and Rosemary, and Basil

Baked Chicken With Lemon and Rosemary, and Basil

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp. fresh basil (about 8 leaves)
  • ½ tsp. fresh rosemary (about ½ sprig)
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breast
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Place half of butter in 13x9-inch (3.5L) glass baking dish. Heat in oven for 5 minutes. In a shallow dish combine bread crumbs and half each of the basil and rosemary. Place 2 Tbsp. of milk in separate bowl. Dip chicken first in milk then in crumb mixture, pressing to coat. Transfer to plate. Discard any leftover milk and crumbs.Remove baking dish from oven and swirl to coat with melted butter. Place breaded chicken in dish and return to oven.
  2. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until chicken is starting to brown. Meanwhile, in saucepan, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Cook remaining basil, rosemary, onion and garlic, stirring for 3 minutes or until softened. Whisk remaining milk into cornstarch; whisk in lemon rind. Whisk into pan; increase heat to medium high. Cook stirring for 3 minutes or until thickened and glossy. Stir in salt and lemon juice. Pour sauce over top of chicken in dish. Bake for 5 minutes longer or until chicken is cooked through.
  3. http://www.food.com/recipe/baked-chicken-with-lemon-and-herbs-164646
http://plant-it-forward.org/baked-chicken-with-lemon-and-rosemary-and-basil/

Sweet Basil Chocolate Martini

Sweet Basil Chocolate Martini

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 8 oz. water, boiling
  • 12-16 fresh sweet basil leaves, plus one sprig for garnish
  • 3 oz. vodka
  • Ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Smash the basil in a cocktail shaker or pint glass. Add the chocolate and boiling water. Stir until the chocolate has melted and let cool to room temperature or put in refrigerator for about an hour. Add the vodka and ice. Shake and strain into chilled martini glasses. Garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately. Makes 2-3 martinis. If making this for a party, make the chocolate base in advance and refrigerate until ready to mix with vodka.
  2. http://www.recchiuti.com/recipe_detail.html?recipe=08
http://plant-it-forward.org/sweet-basil-chocolate-martini/

Summer Farro Salad with Tomato, Cucumber & Basil

Summer Farro Salad with Tomato, Cucumber & Basil

Ingredients

  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • 2 large shallots (or 1 sweet onion), finely chopped
  • 2 cups farro (uncooked) (an Italian grain, found at Nundini on North Shepherd)
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ½ large English (hothouse) cucumber, diced. If using Diva cucumber, peeled and diced.
  • ¼ cup finely chopped basil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat a few Tbsp. olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the farro and cook, stirring to coat each grain, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until farro is soft but still chewy in the center, about 12 minutes. (If there is more than a Tbsp. or two of leftover stock, strain it out.) Cool the farro to room temperature. Add the red wine vinegar and olive oil, and stir to combine. Fold in tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil. Season with salt and pepper, and adjust vinegar and oil amounts to taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
  2. http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-summer-farro-salad-with-tomato-cucumber-amp-basil-recipes-from-the-kitchn-193060
http://plant-it-forward.org/summer-farro-salad-with-tomato-cucumber-basil/

Lemon, Basil, Cucumber Infused Water

Lemon, Basil, Cucumber Infused Water

Ingredients

  • 10 thin slices of lemon
  • 10 thin slices of peeled Diva cucumber
  • 10 small leaves of basil, ripped
  • 3-4 cups of water

Instructions

  1. Put in the fridge and let stand for a minimum of 1 hour. Serve over ice with at least one lemon slice, cucumber slice, and basil leaf in each cup. Enjoy!
  2. http://montco.happeningmag.com/lemon-basil-cucumber-infused-water/#sthash.6wkSjQj7.dpuf
http://plant-it-forward.org/lemon-basil-cucumber-infused-water/

Sweet Potato Fries with Basil Salt and Garlic Mayonnaise

Sweet Potato Fries with Basil Salt and Garlic Mayonnaise

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bag sweet potatoes, cut into about 1 by 5-inch "fries"
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the sweet potato "fries" on a foil-lined baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile combine the basil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. In another small bowl combine the mayonnaise, garlic, and lemon juice, and stir to combine. When the sweet potato fries come out of the oven, sprinkle with the basil salt. Serve with the garlic mayonnaise alongside for dipping.
  2. You can eyeball most of the ingredients in this recipe except the mayonnaise dip. It is important to get the correct amounts of mayo-lemon juice-garlic or it will not taste good.
  3. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/sweet-potato-fries-with-basil-salt-and-garlic-mayonnaise-recipe.html
http://plant-it-forward.org/sweet-potato-fries-with-basil-salt-and-garlic-mayonnaise/

Butternut Squash and Shrimp with Roselle, Basil, Spinach in a Coconut Milk broth

Butternut Squash and Shrimp with Roselle, Basil, Spinach in a Coconut Milk broth

Ingredients

  • This dish is delicious, but it takes an hour of prep work and another 30 min to cook, so do not start this dish if you are already hungry!
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 15 oz. can Bar Harbor All Natural Fish Stock (available at WFM)
  • 1 Tbsp. Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste (available at WFM and Kroger)
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 3 Roselle leaves, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14 oz. can light unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 big handfuls of Malabar spinach
  • ½-1 lb. shrimp, cleaned and tails removed
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • rice or noodles, cooked to package instructions
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Basil

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for a few minutes. Add garlic and squash. Sauté until nice and slightly golden, about 7-10 minutes. Add the curry and cumin seeds and mix to combine. Add broth, ginger and roselle. Stir in coconut milk. Simmer uncovered until squash is completely tender and liquid is slightly reduced, about 8-10 minutes. While simmering, add red curry paste a little at a time, adding more to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. After 10 minutes, add the spinach and shrimp. Cook 2-3 more minutes until spinach has wilted and shrimp is about done. You can choose to add the noodles or rice to the soup and combine, or keep separate. Squeeze in ½ lime and add chopped basil. Serve hot.
  2. http://www.jemangelaville.com/2007/01/30/butternut-squash-with-coconut-lemongrass-shrimp-and-basil-and-a-bunch-of-other-stuff/
http://plant-it-forward.org/butternut-squash-and-shrimp-with-roselle-basil-spinach-in-a-coconut-milk-broth/

Chicken Stew With Coconut Milk, Herbs, and Mixed Greens

Chicken Stew With Coconut Milk, Herbs, and Mixed Greens

Ingredients

  • -Chef Gina Lopez, Corporate Chef at Bridgeway Software
  • 3 table spoons of olive oil
  • 1 lb. of chicken breast cut into bite size chunks (optional)
  • 1 ¼ cup of green onions chopped (use mostly white parts for stew and green parts for garnish)
  • 1 cup of potatoes (cut into 1 inch chunks)
  • 1 cup of baby carrots (halved)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of canned coconut milk
  • 3 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1Tbsp of cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. of curry powder
  • 1 cup of sweet potato greens (chopped)
  • 1 cup of Malabar spinach (chopped)
  • 1 cup of French sorrel (chopped)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp. of Tabasco to taste
  • ¼ cup of each Basil, Mint, and Arugula (chopped for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in pan then add curry powder and cumin. Add chicken stir until slightly golden brown. Add tomatoes.
  2. Add coconut milk and broth. Add potatoes and carrots. Cook until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add greens at the last minute so that they don’t overcook. Add Tabasco, salt and pepper. Combine basil, mint and arugula.
  3. Serve stew in a bowl and garnish with herbs and arugula.
http://plant-it-forward.org/chicken-stew-with-coconut-milk-herbs-and-mixed-greens/