Provençal Leeks

provencal-leeks

 

We learned this recipe quite literally at our mother’s apron strings. As children, we spent summers on the beach of a coastal small village on the Cote d’Azur. Our mother occasionally brought in Madame Victoria, an elderly woman from Provence who then lived in St. Maxime, where she cooked and cleaned.  She taught our mom a lot about the cuisine of the region, leeks Povençal being a classic favorite. Mom made it every spring when leeks were abundant in the marchés near the village outside Paris where we lived. Danielle made this for our alluim ,month, May 2016.

3 medium-sized leeks, trimmed and washed and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 tomatoes, or 1 (15-oz) can, cut into eighths
¼ C pitted black Kalamata or green olives
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t Herbes de Provence
¼ C white wine
¼ C olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F. Trim and clean the leeks: remove one outer layer of the leek and remove the dark green top. Slit the leek vertically and rinse under running water to remove and sand or dirt. Cut the leeks into 2-inch pieces, removing any additional dark or touch pieces. You want to be left with the white and light green parts only. Put the trimmed, washed and cut leeks into an ovenproof baking pan.

In a separate bowl, mix the tomatoes, olives, lemon juice and zest, garlic and Herbes de Provence. Spread mixture over the leeks, mixing gently. Add the white wine and olive oil. Season with a bit of sea salt and pepper. Bake uncovered 20-30 minutes until leeks are very tender. Serve warm or chilled on a hot summer day. Serves 4-6.


Caramelized Onion Tart “Tatin”

oniontarttatin_zpse531fc84

 

 

For best results, bake this in a well-seasoned cast-iron pan. Let it cool slightly before flipping the pan over and easing out the tatin. Serve as a first course or as a main course with salad and cheese for a vegetarian meal. Adrienne made this in a class at Brookside Gardens in May 2016.

2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1.5# boiler onions, peeled and slice in half around the middle
2 T brown sugar
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 C crumbled goat cheese
1 (8 oz.) sheet puff pastry

Preheat oven to 400°. In a 10-inch cast-iron or other oven-proof pan, melt butter with olive oil. Place onion cut-side down in hot fat and cook until onions are soft and turning brown, about 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine sugar and balsamic, stir to incorporate. Add to onions and let sizzle until they caramelize, about one to two minutes. Remove from heat and let the pan and onions cool about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle 3/4 of the cheese over the onions. Roll out the pastry dough gently and press over the cheese. Prick lightly with a fork. Bake 25 minutes, or until pastry is golden and filling bubbles up around the edge. Set aside for a few minutes, then invert on a plate and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


Twice Times Sweet Potatoes in Coconut

For “Top-to-Toe” demoes for the month of April 2016, Danielle and Adrienne brought new ways to prepare beet tops and bulbs and sweet potato green and tubers to audiences in the Washington metro area. This one was a big hit. Don’t have access to sweet potato greens? Don’t worry, just use spinach.

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced to yield 3 C
1 large bunch sweet potato greens, washed and sripped of their stems
2 T oil – coconut, olive or vegetable
2 shallots, minced
2 clove garlic, minced
1 t minced fresh ginger root (from a ½-inch piece)
2 t grated fresh turmeric root, or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 hot chile pepper, red thai chili or serrano, finely sliced
2-inch lemon grass stalk, trimmed and finely sliced
1 to 2 t soy sauce, or to taste
1 C coconut milk
1 t brown sugar, or to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

Prehat oven to 425 degrees. Toss the diced sweet potatoes in a bowl or bag with 1 T oil (if you use coconut oil, warm it up first). Spread oiled potatoes onto a cookie sheet. Roast 15 minutes, then turn potaotes and continue roasting until they are done and slightly caramelized. While the sweet potaotes are cooking, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Trim off any thick stems from greens. Add to boiling water and blanch for 60 seconds, then immediately transfer greens to a bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking. Drain well.

Heat 1 T oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chile and lemongrass and stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce. Add coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add blanched greens and return to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Add sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into bowls and serve with roasted sweet potatoes and rice.


Sweet and Savory Sweet Potato Greens

yam

Yes, you CAN eat the green tops of sweet potatoes that curl and snake above the tubers themselves, tucked safely below the earth. Sweet potato greens — sold in Asian supermarkets as “yam leaf” — in fact come in a variety of color and shape these days, with their growing popularity as ornamental vines. They taste a lot like spinach, are packed with nutrients and farmers are discovering a burgeoning market for these once-tossed-away side harvest to the perennial favorite tuber of fall. Look for the greens in your local farmer’s market — or CSA – starting in June and going through the fall harvest of sweet potatoes. This recipe was demoed by Adrienne in April 2016 as part of our “Top-to-Toe” month.

8 C sweet potato/yam leaves, stems removed, washed
1 T olive oil
½ onion, diced
½ t Dijon mustard
2 t sugar
½ t hot pepper flakes
1 t salt
1-2 T cider vinegar
3/4 C vegetable or chicken stock
2 T dried cranberries
2 T chopped nuts

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook and until softened and translucent, about two min.; add garlic and cook another two minutes until garlic is fragrant. Combine mustard, sugar, salt, hot pepper flakes, one tablespoon vinegar and add to pan, stirring the ingredients together until sugar is dissolved and they are well incorporated. Add stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the sweet potato leaves, cover and turn heat down to a simmer. Stir in the cranberries and continue simmering until the liquid has reduced by about half, and the cranberries have softened, about 10 min. Season to taste with pepper and more vinegar as desired. Sprinkle with nuts before serving.
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Swiss Chard and Onions

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A lovely combination, making great use of both the gorgeous Swiss chard currently in farmer’s markets and fully mature sweet onions. The celery and caraway seeds are an unusual addition and really liven up the dish. Serve with a smoky sausage such as grilled kielbasa or andouille.  From Simply Recipes and demoed for our May 2016 allium month.

3 T grapeseed or vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced ¼-inch to ½-inch wide slices, root to stem
Salt
1 t honey
1 t caraway seeds
½ t celery seed
½ t black pepper
½ t red pepper flakes
1 pound chard, center ribs removed, leaves roughly chopped
2 t sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until the oil is almost smoking. Add the onions and toss to coat with oil. Reduce heat to medium-high and sauté for 10-12 minutes stirring often, until the onions are soft and browned on the edges. Sprinkle with salt while the onions are cooking. Add the honey, caraway seeds, celery seeds, and black pepper. Toss well to combine. Add the chard to the onions and mix well with tongs. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until any moisture has evaporated and the chard is wilted. Add the vinegar right before serving.


Leeks Mimosa with Toasted Hazelnuts

Dorie Greenspan Leeks Vinaigrette with Mimosa on eatlivetravelwrite.com

 

 

Begin this simple, distinctive side dish by roasting leeks, which mellows them and brings out their sweet side. Give them a drizzle of citrus vinaigrette, and sprinkle on toasted hazelnuts for a pleasant crunch. As a garnish, grated egg yolks are called mimosa (named for the yellow mimosa flower); we use the whites as well, to finish the dish. This recipe is a hearty side dish for four. Store extra vinaigrette in the refrigerator up to three weeks. Adrienne demoed this as part of allium month, May 2016. Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

4 large leeks (2 pounds), white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise and rinsed well
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 eggs, hardboiled and cooled
1 t Dijon mustard
2 t finely grated orange zest, plus more for garnish
3 T fresh orange juice
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 T minced shallot
3 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 ounce (¼ cup) skinless hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange leeks on a rimmed baking sheet, and brush generously with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, flipping once, until tender and gold, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly on sheet. Halve eggs and remove yolks. Finely grate whites on the medium holes of a box grater; place in a small bowl. Grate or crumble yolks; place in another small bowl. Whisk together mustard, orange zest and juice, lemon juice, and shallot. Slowly add oil, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange leeks on a platter. Scatter whites and yolks on top. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with hazelnuts, and garnish with orange zest. Serve immediately.


Green Garlic Soup

green garlic

 

 

Green garlic is available for a very brief time in the spring and mainly at farmer’s markets. It resembles green onion (scallions), but has a flat, rather than tubular green top. Get it while you can! This recipe will serve six. Adrienne demoed it during our allium month, May 2016.

2 bunches green garlic (about 6-8 stalks)
1 good-sized onion
1 medium potato, such as Yukon Gold
2 T olive oil
4 C vegetable stockgarlic
salt & pepper
¼ C heavy cream
chopped chives for garnish

Prepare green garlic: Slice green part lengthwise and run under cold water to get out any grit. Remove root. Cut entire stalk and bulb into chunks and set aside. You should have about 3 C of green garlic. Peel and cut onion into chunks; you should have 1 C onion chunks. Wash and cut potatoes into chunks; you should have about ½ C potatoes. In a large pot or pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add all your vegetables. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook 20 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add stock, salt, pepper. Cook another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, puree soup mix. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Add heavy cream and process until incorporated. Serve hot, garnished with chives.