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/

Roasted Cherry-Tomato Sauce

From Martha Stewart
I added basil and olives to the finished dish. Be careful, the tomatoes are really hot when they first come out of the oven!
Ingredients
• 1 pound, 6 ounces cherry tomatoes
• 3 cloves garlic, smashed
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
• 2 teaspoons packed light-brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon coarse salt
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix together tomatoes and garlic in a nonreactive 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Whisk together oil, vinegar, thyme, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl. Drizzle over tomato mixture.
2. Bake until tomatoes are softened and caramelized, about 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature. Sauce can be stored in refrigerator up to 5 days; let cool before storing

http://www.marthastewart.com/1106724/roasted-cherry-tomato-sauce

Marinated Celery Salad With Chickpeas and Parmesan

from NYT Cooking

For the salad:
• 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar, more as needed
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• ½ teaspoon maple syrup or honey
• Salt and ground black pepper
• 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
• ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
• 4 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
• 4 large or 6 small celery stalks, trimmed (reserve the leaves) and cut into large julienne
• 2 large scallions, white and pale green parts, thinly sliced on a diagonal, or 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
• 1 to 2 cups loosely packed celery leaves, coarsely chopped
• 1 pint small tomatoes, halved
• ¼ cup loosely packed basil leaves, rolled and julienned
• 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, coarsely grated, or crumbled feta
Preparation
1. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, maple syrup and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Drop in garlic cloves, stir, and set aside 15 to 30 minutes to let the flavor infuse.
2. Gradually whisk in oil; dressing will emulsify. Mix in chickpeas, celery and scallions. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
3. Remove garlic cloves from dressing. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper, vinegar and olive oil. Set aside to come to cool room temperature.
4. If desired, make croutons, for serving: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pull the soft bread out of the center of the loaf, leaving most of the crust behind, and tear bread into bite-size pieces. You should have about 3 cups. Spread pieces on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes, until golden and crisp; let cool.
5. Just before serving, mix celery leaves, tomatoes, basil and croutons, if using, into the salad. In a serving bowl, place a layer of greens, if using, in the bottom. Add celery mixture, then top with cheese and more black pepper.

http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1018091-marinated-celery-salad-with-chickpeas-and-parmesan

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/

Spicy African Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew

Spicy African Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew

Ingredients

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. allspice
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (3/4 CSA bag)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or 2 cups water
  • 1 (16 ounce) can plum tomatoes, undrained, chopped (you can purchase stewed tomatoes in glass bottles at Whole Foods Market (WFM))
  • 1 (16 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (you can purchase frozen chickpeas at WFM)
  • 1 lb okra, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 cup couscous

Instructions

  1. Cook couscous according to package directions. Place garlic and salt into bowl of food processor and blend until garlic is finely chopped. Add paprika, cumin seeds, black pepper, ginger, and allspice. Process 15 seconds.
  2. While processor is running, pour olive oil through cover opening until mixture forms paste. In a large saucepan, combine the completed spice paste, sweet potatoes, broth or water, tomatoes with juice, chickpeas, and okra.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover and simmer 10 minutes more or until vegetables are tender. Serve stew with couscous and hot pepper sauce.
  4. http://www.food.com/recipe/spicy-african-chickpea-and-sweet-potato-stew-221822
http://plant-it-forward.org/spicy-african-chickpea-and-sweet-potato-stew-2/

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/

Radish Leaf Salad with Corn Tomatoes and Salted Cucumbers

Radish Leaf Salad with Corn Tomatoes and Salted Cucumbers

Ingredients

  • --Chef Gina Lopez, Bridgeway Corporate Chef
  • 2 Cucumbers
  • ½ teaspoon of Kosher salt
  • Leaves from 1 bunch of radishes washed and dried
  • 1 cup of Arugula
  • 4 Radishes halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 ear of corn cooked and kernels removed
  • 1 large tomato seeded and diced
  • 1 cup of Bush Beans
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onions or shallots
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon of honey or sugar
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper

Instructions

  1. To make salad slice cucumber add slat let sit for 15 min and rinse, drain, and pat dry. Boil water add bush beans for one minute then rinse with cold water. Chop radish leaves. Place leaves, arugula, corn, tomato, and onions in bowl. To make dressing, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Add cucumbers to the salad with salt and pepper to taste.
http://plant-it-forward.org/radish-leaf-salad-with-corn-tomatoes-and-salted-cucumbers/

Eggplant Tricolored & More

Eggplant Tricolored & More

Ingredients

  • --Chef Gina Lopez, Bridgeway Corporate Chef
  • 3 medium eggplants
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper cut into 3/8 inch dice
  • 10 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons of capers, plus 1 tablespoon of the caper brine
  • 5 oz. of buffalo mozzarella
  • Basil chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven 375. Cut the eggplants width ways into ¾ inch slices. Place slices on a baking sheet. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until eggplants are soft and golden brown.
  2. Mix together bell pepper, tomatoes, vinegar, capers, and brine, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside for 30 minutes (the mix can be kept in the refrigerator for several days. The flavors will deepen.
  3. To serve arrange the eggplant slices on a serving dish. Break the mozzarella into large chunks and scatter on top. Spoon over with the yellow pepper salsa and finish with basil.
http://plant-it-forward.org/eggplant-tricolored-more/

Oven-Roasted Eggplant and Butternut Squash Curry

Oven-Roasted Eggplant and Butternut Squash Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. eggplant
  • 2 lbs. butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 Tomatoes, in 1 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 green onions, chopped in 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Wrap the eggplant and the butternut squash individually in aluminum foil. Place them on a baking tray and bake them for 1 1/2 hours or until they are very soft. The eggplants will become mushy and deflated.
  3. While the eggplant and butternut squash are cooking, heat oil in large frying pan on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for about 30 seconds. Stir in onions and sauté until brown, 8 to 10 minutes
  4. Reduce heat to medium and stir in tomatoes. Add turmeric, fenugreek, coriander, black pepper, jalapeño
  5. pepper and salt. Cook this masala for 10 minutes. If the eggplant and squash are still cooking, remove the masala from the heat and set aside.
  6. Remove eggplant and squash from the oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes so you can unwrap the aluminum foil.
  7. Using a paring knife or potato peeler, peel the squash and discard the skin. Cut the squash in half. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds from the squash. Cut in 1/2 inch cubes and place in mixing bowl.
  8. Using your hands, peel the skin from the eggplant. Discard the skins. Add the eggplants to the mixing bowl.
  9. Stir the eggplant and squash mixture into the masala. Turn the heat on to medium and cook, covered for 10 minutes. Just before serving, add the green onions and heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
  10. Serve as main dish with Chappatis or as a side dish.
  11. http://www.food.com/recipe/oven-roasted-eggplant-and-butternut-squash-curry-253225
http://plant-it-forward.org/oven-roasted-eggplant-and-butternut-squash-curry/