Succotash

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Danielle spent a recent Saturday at the U.S. Botanic Garden teaching visitors about succotash and handing out samples and recipes. A Native American food, succotash finds it’s way on to many Thanksgiving tables and was a staple for families during the Depression. Traditional succotash will often include tomatoes, sweet peppers and bacon. The name originated in Narragansett, and translates from the Algonquin Indian language meaning “broken corn kernels.” Butter beans, or lima beans as they are often referenced, are grown throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Carolinas and harvested in August and September. Corn is cultivated copiously all across the United States, yet Americans are among the few cultures who eat sweet corn on the cob, which also originated with Native American tribes.

 

1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)

1 cup fresh butter beans (or lima)

½  medium-size sweet onion, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup heavy cream

1 Tablespoon fresh chopped dill (or 1 teaspoon dried) – optional

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

 

Cut the kernels off the cobs into a large bowl. In a medium-sized pot, cover the butter beans with water and bring to a low boil. Cook until beans are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. While beans are cooking, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and add the onion. Cook until it becomes fragrant and a bit soft, about 2 minutes. Add the corn and stir well, then add the butter beans. Cook another few minutes until corn is tender and then add the cream. Reduce heat to very low and let the cream soak up into the mixture, add the dill. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 2.

 

 

 

 

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Winter Slaw of Fennel, Carrots, Cucumber and Orange

A crispy, crunchy bite in every mouthful — and packed with Vitamin C to boot — this slaw makes a great side or even a condiment on a bbq pork sandwich or turkey burger.

1 large fennel bulb (about ½ lb), stalks and fronds removed, bulb cut into large chunks and rinsed
2 large carrots
1 small cucumber, peeled, quartered, seeded and very thinly sliced
1 orange (navel, Cara or blood if available), peel removed with a knife and segmented,
OR peel removed with a knife, sliced into rounds and rounds cut into quarters
½ C golden raisins
¼ C apple cider vinegar (for a sweeter taste, use ½ C fresh apple cider)
½ C olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Fresh dill or fresh mint, chopped – for garnish (optional)
½ C walnuts, chopped – optional

Put the raisins and the apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and let soak while you prepare the slaw. In a food processor fitted with the shred blade, drop the chunks of fennel one at a time to grate. Transfer to a salad bowl. Do the same for the carrots and add them to the fennel. Thinly slice the quartered, peeled, seeded cucumber either with a knife or on a mandolin. Add them to the salad bowl along with the orange segments.

Whisk the olive oil directly into the raisins and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the slaw and mix well. (Note: if your vegetables are quite large, you may need to double the amount of dressing.) Let the slaw sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours and toss every now and again. Serve chilled, garnished with fresh chopped dill or mint and/or walnuts. Serves 4-6.


Winter Salad of Root Vegebables with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

If yroastedou’re sick of roasted vegetables you can take a pass on the veggie ingredients in this salad but you shouldn’t skip the lemon tahini dressing which is delicious on nearly everything it touches, though I confess I have not tried it on chocolate icecream. I bet it would be fantastic on orange or lime sorbet. Just a thought, in the middle of winter when I’m longing for the beach. Meantime, as they say, slather the vinaigrette on a nice piece of fish – say halibut or striped bass or mahi – and pan fry or do what hubby is doing these days, madly using the Cuisinart electric panini grill, a great modern invention; he puts everything on it including the dish towels. One of those fish fillets would be awesome cooked on that baby and you’ll want to drizzle more of the lemon tahini sauce on the fish when you serve. Nuff said about that. I do not tire of anything that includes oven-roasted potatoes so here you’ll have those plus matchstick carrots and parsnips, which we always overlook when we roast vegetables, why I can’t say but there’s no explaining a lack of imagination. And if you’re up to here with cauliflower and you already have divined the dirty little secret about roasted broccoli – don’t ask me, you’ll need to discover it for yourself – then just leave it at that and toss your roots with some fresh greenery and have at it. Or just make a big jar of the tahini dressing and drink a cup for breakfast – you think I’m kidding. I, Adrienne, demoed this in January at Brookside and at US Botanic Garden. Adapted from Fine Cooking. 

16 small potatoes
3/4 C olive oil, divided (more as needed)
1 t salt, divided
fresh ground pepper
½ head cauliflower, curt into ½-inch florets
3 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 clove garlic
1 1/4 C fresh parsley leaves, divided
1/4 C lemon juice
2 T tahini (International foods)
1 t honey (optional)
1/4 t ground cumin
1/4 t ground coriander
4 C sturdy lettuce greens, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces as necessary
½ C chopped fresh dill
4 oz crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Quarter potatoes, place in plastic bag or bowl; toss with 1-2 T olive oil, scant 1/4 t salt, several pepper grinds. Spread potatoes on rimmed baking sheet and roast in oven until golden, about 30 minutes, turning them halfway through. Place cauliflower plastic bag or bowl, add 1 T olive oil, 1/4 t salt, several pepper grinds; toss until well coated. Spread on one side of rimmed baking sheet. To plastic bag or bowl, add carrots and parsnips, 1 T olive oil, 1/4 t salt, several grinds pepper. Toss and spread root vegetables on baking sheet next to cauliflower. Place baking sheet in the oven and roast until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove potatoes and vegetables when done and cover to keep warm.

Place garlic and 1/4 C parsley in a food processor and process until minced; add remaining ½ C olive oil, 1/4 t salt, lemon juice, tahini, honey if using, cumin, coriander; process, adding more olive oil as needed, until smooth and creamy.

In a large bowl, toss together the remaining parsley, lettuce and dill with 1/4 C salad dressing. Place on a serving platter, top with warm vegetables, drizzle with remaining dressing and sprinkle with goat cheese. Serve immediately, or hold at room temperature for up to two hours.


Apple, Beet and Walnut Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette

apple beetMiso is a fermented soybean paste, originated in China, perfected in Japan, that gives this lemon vinaigrette an incredibly satisfying sweet-salty-nutty flavor known as “umami.” Miso is available at most supermarkets in the international food section or in the freezer or refrigerator with other soy products. This recipe calls for the most versatile of the three popular grades of miso — “white” or “yellow” miso, also called shiso in the Japanese tradition. Other recipes for using miso can be found on this website, search under “miso.” This recipe was demoed at USBG October 9, 2014. Read More


Radish and Herb Salad with Strawberries and Sungold Tomatoes

strawberry herb salad

 

 

The combination of strawberries and tomatoes is irresistible.  This salad does that and more, adding peppery radishes, plenty of herbs and a creamy yogurt dressing flavored with maple syrup to enhance the sweetness of the strawberries.  Make it even more  kid-friendly by omitting the radishes, but for grown-ups, don’t change a thing.  Danielle demoed this recipe at Brookside and at USBG in May 2014.  Adapted from Food52. Read More


Herb and Cheese Crackers

crakers

 

 

Delightful on their own or served with soup or a cheese platters, these are go-to, easy gift for the holidays.  To make a spicy version, add tabasco to the mix.  You can also flavor them with cumin seed, celery seed or fennel seed instead of, or in addition to, the herbs. We demoed these at our December 6, 2013 event at Brookside Gardens. Makes four dozen small crackers.  Recipe from Cuisine at Home.

1½ C shredded parmesan
1½ C flour
1 stick butter
1/4 C finely chopped parsley, dill, fresh chives, fresh chervil, or a combination of these herbs
1/4 t salt
3 T heavy cream
coarse salt for garnish (optional)

In food processor, pulse first five ingredients until clumps form; add heavy cream and process until dough forms a ball around the blade.  Remove from food processor and roll on a lightly floured surface into an oval shape. Cut the oval into quarters lengthwise and roll each quarter until it is about 1½ inches in diameter.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake them. They will keep in the refrigerator up to a week.  They can be frozen for several weeks.

To bake: Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with parchment or non-stick aluminum foil.  Remove the sticks of cracker dough and slice them into 1/4 inch thick rounds.  Place on cookie sheet. Pierce lightly with a fork and sprinkle with optional salt garnish. Bake 10 minutes on one side. For crisper crackers, flip and bake another five minutes.  Remove and cool.  They will keep baked for a week, though they probably won’t last that long.