Monday, October 24, 2011

Green Tomato Pie

When we picked up our last CSA of the season from Bell Organics he gave us these lovely green tomatoes and told us to check out his green tomato pie recipe.  In both of our minds we were thinking that sounds odd.  We then both assumed that it was savory like our previous heirloom tomato pie, but it was not. In all honesty this is probably the best way to use all those green tomatoes you have left. This pie is much like the apple pies you make around this time of year, but with tomatoes. The texture of the tomatoes isn't odd at all and it surprisingly delicious.  It is sweet and has just the right amount of cinnamon.  You should try this recipe just for the fun of it and enjoy some of the last vegetables of the season, even if they are green!


4 cups peeled, cored, and sliced green tomatoes
3 tbl. butter (Winder Farms)
4 tbl. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 & 1/4 cup sugar
3 tbl. flour (freshly milled)
dash of salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves


2 cups flour (freshly milled)
1/4 tsp. salt (Redmond Sea Salt)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup butter or butter flavored shortening (Winder Farms)
1/2 cup cold water

For the crust:
1. Mix together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in the bowl. Cut butter/shortening into the flour mixture with a fork until it resembles cornmeal. Stir in water one tablespoonful at a time and mix until combined. Cover dough and let it rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Divide dough in half.  On a lightly floured surface, pat each section into a small round then roll out each to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Place one round in pie pan and trim off excess dough and save second piece for top.
3. Saute the tomatoes in the butter and lemon juice until tender.  Combine tomatoes with sugar, flour, salt and spices. Pour filling into prepared pie crust and dot with butter. Cover with top crust. Pinch around sides and pierce top with a fork.
4. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes then reduce to 350 degrees and bake until crust is brown or about 35-40 more minutes.
5. Let rest 30-45 minutes to let it set before eating.
--some recipes call for 3 tbl. tapioca flour or quick tapioca. To keep it more local, we just used our freshly milled flour but it was a bit runny when hot out of the oven.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Eggplant and Tomato Sauce

My mom loves eggplant and I don't mind it because I like it too.  So when they told us we needed to bring a kind of sauce to share at the Eat Local Challenge Pasta Party we instantly thought of a eggplant and tomato spaghetti sauce.  We started to look for one and found one in Lidia's Family Table.  This recipe has the best of both vegetables and is really delicious.  It is perfect on Nu Nooz pasta or on your own homemade pasta, add a little cheese, and eat.  This recipe makes a lot of sauce so be prepared to use it!

5 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (blanched, seeded and peeled)
3 & 1/2 pounds firm eggplants
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups chopped onions
2 tsp. Redmond Sea Salt
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried red hot pepper flakes
4 branches fresh basil with leaves

1. Process tomatoes through a food mill or sieve to remove the skin and seeds in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Trim and peel the eggplants. Cut them into 3/4 inch chunks.
3. Put the oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and 1 teaspoonful of salt. Set over medium heat, stir well and cook until the onions are softened, about 7-10 minutes. Only cook until the onions are soft, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat to avoid browning.
4. When the onions are softened, push them to the sides of the pan and clear a space in the middle of the pan. Place the chopped garlic in the middle of the pan, stir within this middle to caramelize for about 1 minute. Stir the onions into the garlic and then add 2 tablespoonfuls of water into the pan and stir everything together. Cook until liquid has evaporated.
5. Add the eggplant chunks to the pan and add additional 1 teaspoonful of salt. Stir together with the onions and garlic until all chunks are coated. Cook over medium-low heat for 12 to 15 minutes or until the eggplant is soft but still retains it shape. Add more water only if the pan gets dry and the eggplant begins to brown.
6. Pour in the tomatoes and their juice into the pan. Rinse the tomato bowl with 2-3 cups of water and add to the pan.  Sprinkle with the red hot pepper flakes and additional salt and pepper to taste.  Sink the basil branches into the liquid. Raise heat to medium and allow to come to a boil.
7. Lower heat to keep at a low simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8. Uncover the pan and continue to cook at a low simmer until sauce is reduced. Stir occasionally to keep eggplant from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook uncovered for additional 1-2 hours or until at desired consistency (we like our sauce VERY reduced). Remove the basil branches and serve with your favorite pasta or ravioli.
adapted from Lidia's Family Table
--add meatballs in step #5
--saute sausage along with the onions in step #3

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Swiss Chard and Sausage Strata


1 pound sausage (Red Wine from Colosimo)
2 shallots, finely chopped (Downtown Farmers Market)
1 bunch Swiss Chard (Bell Organic)
1/4 cup homemade chicken broth (or water if you don't have broth)
1 day old baguette, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (Crumb Brothers)
2 & 1/2 cups 2% milk (Winder Farms)
7 large eggs, lightly beaten (Clifford Family Farms)
1 cup shredded cheese (take your pick from all our local purveyors)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and break up meat with wooden spoon as it cooks. Transfer to a small bowl once cooked through.
3. Add 1 tsp. additional oil, if needed, to skillet. Add shallots and chard stems and cook, stirring frequently until shallots are translucent. Add chicken broth to pan, and cook, stirring up any browned bits from the skillet. Add chard leaves and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted. Add sausage back to the pan and season with salt and pepper if needed.
4. Sprinkle half the sausage and chard mixture in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with the bread, overlapping the pieces (save a few pieces of bread for the final layer). Top with remaining sausage and chard mixture. In large bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs, season with salt and pepper and pour over the top. Add additional slices of bread and press down firmly to make sure all the bread is submerged and the milk and egg mixture is distributed evenly. Cover dish tightly with foil and let sit at least 10 minutes or overnight (stratas are always better if they sit overnight and let the flavors blend together).
5. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes.
6. Uncover and sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake until the cheese melts or about 7-10 minutes.
7. Let cool for 10 minutes to allow the strata to set.
serves 6-8 as main meal
About $2/serving

Peppered Pear and Goat Cheese Scones

Hi, this is Bianca's Mom. We just want to thank all our friends and family for all their support over the past two weeks. It has been great for both of us to know how much love and support we have. One thing that has amused both Bianca and I is how concerned our friends are about bringing over "local" food to feed us. Although local is important to us, we are just thankful to have so many people so willing to help us. Many of our friends have been bringing over their own homegrown pears and one of our Italian friends (the real deal from Northern Italy) even brought us some homemade pear jam. Then one of our friends forwarded us this scone recipe. Since we also had a bunch of goat cheese that people had brought over and we love scones (how can you ever go wrong making something with an entire stick of butter), we decided to try this recipe. Bianca and I both loved this recipe but if you can't eat them all, make sure to refrigerate them since they seem to go bad fairly quickly. As Bianca would say, Enjoy!
2 C all-purpose flour (we used freshly milled whole wheat)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 T honey (Knight Family Farms)
1 1/4 tsp salt (Redmond Sea Salt)
1 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1/2 inch slices) Winder Farms
1 medium pear, peeled, cored and roughly chopped (I used 2 pears since they were fairly small)
4 ounces goat cheese, broken into walnut-sized pieces (Shepard's Farm herbed)
1/2 C whole milk/low fat yogurt (we used our homemade yogurt)
2 T whole milk or buttermilk (Winder Farms)
1. Preheat oven to 375˚F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.Combine four, baking powder, sugar, salt, and pepper, stir well.
add butter, blend into the four mix with your fingers - till there are pea-sized butter chunks.
Sprinkle pear chunks and goat cheese over the flour/butter mix, gently toss (try to not mash the pear or cheese).
3.Soften yogurt by mixing with the milk.  Pour over the flour mix, and fold together gently with a spatula (try to not break up the cheese pieces).
4.Divide dough into 8 pieces (I separated into 12, for 12 scones instead).  Place mounds of dough on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, move to cooling rack, and enjoy.

adapted from Savory Baking by Mary Cech

Smoked Mozzarella Little Ravioli in Chicken Broth

My Mom had made these little ravioli's flavored with lemon zest and nutmeg from The Italian Farmer's Table by Matthew Scialabba and Melissa Pellegrino and they were absolutely delicious served in our homemade chicken broth. If you want to learn how to make some really authentic Northern Italian food, my Mom suggests buying this book. You won't be disappointed. She said that these little ravioli tasted very similar to the capelletti that her Nonni used to make when she was a kid except that capelletti have meat in them and...these were easier to make. So, in the spirit of the Eat Local Challenge, we changed the recipe a bit since lemons definitely don't grow in Salt Lake City. Since we love all our local cheeses, we thought that using smoked mozzarella from would give these ravioli a great flavor. We actually ate them with our Eggplant and Tomato Sauce for a totally local meal! 
Make sure you only put a thin layer on the dough so that each ravioli will seal when cut.

If they don't seal, don't worry. The flavor just comes out in the broth!
Ready for the freezer


6 ounces ricotta cheese (homemade using Winder Farms 2% milk and buttermilk)
2 ounces smoked mozzarella (Gold Creek Farms)
2 ounces grated parmesan cheese (Gold Creek Farms)
1 large egg (Clifford Family Farm)
pinch of Redmond Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe basic pasta dough (see earlier post)
1 quart homemade chicken broth (see earlier post)

1. In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, salt, pepper and egg until thoroughly combined.
2. On a clean surface that is lightly dusted with flour, roll out the pasta into an 18-inch circle. Spread a thin layer of the cheese mixture over the top half of the dough. Fold over the top half of the dough over the filling to create a semi-circle. Lightly press to remove any air. With a handheld pasta cutter, cut the dough into long vertical strips, about 1/2 inch wide. Then cut horizontally every 1/2 inch to create small squares.
3. Place the stuffed ravioli on a lightly floured cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for at least one hour. Once frozen, you can place the ravioli into a plastic bag or container and store in your freezer for later use.
4. In a medium-large pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add a little salt. Drop the ravioli into the broth and gently simmer until tender. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls and serve with grated parmesan cheese.
Adapted from The Italian Farmer's Table
go to for more instructions via video
-The original recipe calls for stracchino cheese which we could not find in Salt Lake City so we just substituted mozzarella. I think you can add any semi-soft cheese in it's place.
- Use regular mozzarella cheese and then add one tablespoonful lemon zest and pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. My Mom told me that her Nonni, who was from the Emilia-Romagna area of Italy, used lemon zest and nutmeg in a lot of her stuffed pasta recipes.-Serve with our homemade Eggplant Pasta Sauce instead of serving in chicken broth.