Friday, October 26, 2012

Pasta with Broccoli Aioli

Did you know that Gold Creek Cheese is now being sold at select Harmon's Stores in the Salt Lake Valley? Do you like Gold Creek Cheese as much as we do? Then be excited! This new development means a great opportunities to cook all kinds of delicious dishes like this one. This dish uses delicious broccoli and Gold Creek Cheese to make a tasty pasta dish. Local broccoli has become on of my favorite local vegetables to eat. Local broccoli seems to have more flavor and can be slightly sweeter then the broccoli you get from the grocery store. Along with the cheese this dish is amazingly flavorful. Enjoy this dish and Gold Creek Cheese as much as you can!


8 ounces fresh pasta
2 cups broccoli, diced into florets (Utah Farms CSA)
1/4 cup butter (Winder Farms)
2 tbl. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, mashed and minced
Salt (Redmond Sea Salt)
Red pepper flakes
Grated parmesan cheese (Gold Creek Farms Cheese)

1) Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to whether you are using fresh or dry pasta. Drain pasta but reserve about 1 cup of pasta water.
2) Heat 2 tablespoonfuls of olive oil in large skillet and saute garlic for 2-3 minutes but do not brown. Add broccoli florets and cook for additional 2-3 minutes.  Add hot pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, and continue cooking until broccoli is tender. Keeping over low heat, add the drained pasta to the skillet. Add remaining olive oil, butter, parsley and red pepper flakes. Toss until all the butter is melted and pasta is well coated. Serve with generous sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Barley Risotto with Eggplant and Tomatoes

We really love risotto at our house. When we visited Italy this past summer, we drove by rice patties in the Emilia-Romagna region where arborio rice is grown. Since no arborio rice is grown locally here in Utah, we have learned to make our risotto with barley, which I also think makes for a healthier dish in general. We get our barley from West Mountain Wheat that is supplied to us via our Utah Farms CSA. You can make this barley risotto from so many different things that we thought we would try it with eggplant, mostly because we had bought a bunch of eggplant at the Farmers Market and did not have time to fry them up to use in Eggplant Parmesan. Since eggplant do not last long uncooked, we needed to cook them fast and this sounded like a good way to do it without having to egg, bread and fry eggplant all night long. Don't get me wrong. I love Eggplant Parmesan and fried eggplant can be frozen to use over the winter but with all my school work, soccer, Girl Scouts and college entrance exams, and all my Mom's work and volunteer activities, frying eggplant just wasn't going to happen and letting the eggplant rot was also not going to happen. 

Once again, one of the only ingredients we ever use that is not local is olive oil! You can substitute
butter for the olive oil but it wouldn't be as healthy so we just go ahead and use olive oil without feeling guilty. Now if only someone could grow olives in Utah! Hope you enjoy this delicious recipe and get creative with your own barley risotto recipe.


6 cups diced eggplant
2 cups peeled and diced tomatoes
3 tbls. olive oil
1/2 tsp. freshly grated black pepper
5 cups homemade vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups water
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup (2oz) crumbled feta cheese
grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup basil, thinly chopped
chopped nuts, optional (walnut, pine or pistachio)

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place foil on jelly-roll pan.
2) Toss eggplant, tomatoes, 2 tbls. olive oil and freshly grated pepper in a bowl until vegetables are well coated with oil.
3) Place vegetables in a single layer on prepared jelly-roll pan. Bake in 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until eggplant is tender and tomatoes collapse.
4) Combine broth with water and heat to simmer on the stove top. Keep this warm over low heat.
5) Heat remaining 1 tbl. olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion to pan and cook until just beginning to turn translucent. Stir in barley and garlic and cook about one minute; stirring constantly.
6) Add wine. Stirring constantly; cook until wine evaporates.
7) Add one cup warm broth to pan. Stirring constantly until broth is absorbed, then add additional cup of warm broth. Continue this process until barley is tender but firm. You may reach this step before adding all 6 cups of liquid so make sure that nearly all liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup of broth and test the barley with each addition for doneness.
8) Stir in the roasted vegetables.
9) Top with cheese, basil and nuts if desired.