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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Potato Salad with Green Beans

Community meeting training/cooking demonstration, 2/27/12 – made as written here

Committee meeting working lunch 1/26/12 – made with homegrown kale stems in place of green beans, local hydroponic tomatoes and chopped parsley added

This potato salad is dressed with a vinaigrette (oil and vinegar dressing) instead of a heavier mayonnaise-based dressing. The taste of the dressing will vary based on whether you use white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, or lemon juice in the dressing, so experiment to find which you like best. Feel free to add any vegetables that you have on hand instead of or in addition to the green beans.

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Green Salad with Roasted Root Vegetables

Community meeting/training dinner, 2/27/12 – served as spinach salad with roasted carrots, toasted walnuts, and apple-mustard vinaigrette

Committee meeting working lunch, 2/23/12 – served as spinach salad with roasted carrots and parsnips, toasted walnuts, and orange-balsamic vinaigrette

Community meeting/training dinner and cooking demonstration, 12/15/11 – served as Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Squash Seeds, and Apple-Mustard Dressing

spinach salad with roasted carrots, toasted walnuts, and apple-mustard vinaigrette

This salad can be adapted for many different ingredients, and you can treat it as a mix-and-match. Choose a greens, vegetables, toppings, and dressing to make a salad the way you like it.

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Roasted Garlic Bread

Community meeting dinner, 2/27/12 – served with lasagna
Community meeting dinner, 1/23/13 – served with baked spaghetti and meatballs
Community meeting dinner, 4/3/13 – served with sausage and sweet potato stew

Roasting the garlic gives it a mellow flavor and a creamy texture, letting you make a rich-tasting garlic bread with less fat.

  • roasted garlic bread rolls2 heads garlic*
  • 4 tablespoons canola, vegetable, or olive oil, divided between roasted garlic and bread assembly
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large loaf Italian or French bread

Roasting the garlic
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Hold the head of garlic on its side and use a large knife to slice off the very top of the head (the pointed end). This will expose all the cloves inside. Repeat with the second head.

Place both heads on a large piece of aluminum foil inside a baking pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with the salt. Bring the foil up and fold to seal in the garlic.

Bake for approximately 1 hour, until cloves of garlic are completely tender. Allow to cool enough to handle. (Note: this can be done up to 4 days in advance – refrigerate roasted garlic until ready to use.)

Assembling the bread
Using your fingers, squeeze the roasted cloves of garlic out of their papery skins and into a small bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and use a fork to mash the garlic and oil into a paste.

Using a bread knife, slice the loaf of bread into pieces, but do not go all the way through – leave the bottom crust intact. Rub the garlic paste between slices, coating each portion with some of the garlic paste.

Wrap the entire loaf in aluminum foil. Return to the oven for 10-12 minutes, until heated through. Break along the scored slices to serve.

Yield: one loaf, serves 8-10.

*Garlic grows well in Nebraska and can be stored for long periods of time.

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

Committee meeting working lunch, 2/23/12

Slightly adapted from this recipe at Smitten Kitchen

This cake tastes similar to lemon pound cake, with an unexpected grapefruit twist to make use of a winter fruit that, though not local, travels well.

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large grapefruit (you will use the zest [grated peel] and ⅓ cup of the juice)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt – whole milk, low fat, and fat free all work. (Note: you can use vanilla yogurt if plain is unavailable, but see notes for other changes required.)
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided between cake and syrup. (Note: if using vanilla yogurt, reduce to ⅔ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar.)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (Note: if using vanilla yogurt, omit vanilla extract.)
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan, then dust with flour.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Zest the grapefruit by rubbing it on a cheese grater. You should grate off only the colored part of the peel, leaving the bitter white pith on the fruit. Set the grapefruit aside (you will be juicing it later.)

In a large bowl, combine the zest, yogurt, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in the large bowl and stir until combined. Then, using a rubber spatula, fold the oil into the batter. To fold in, place the spatula in the center of the bowl so the edge hits the bottom. Slide the spatula under the batter, up the side of the bowl, and then flip the batter you just scooped into the middle. Continue this motion, turning the bowl to get all sides, until the oil is fully incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake about 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan, then flip the cake out of the pan and place on a wire rack to cool.

While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup. Cut the grapefruit in half and squeeze the juice. Measure ⅓ cup juice (remove any seeds) and place in a small saucepan with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Heat on the stove, whisking, just until sugar is dissolved, and then remove from heat.

When the cake is done and cooling, slide a plate or tray under the cake on the rack. Slowly pour the juice mixture over the still-warm cake, allowing it to absorb as much of the juice as possible. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Yield: 1 loaf

White Bean, Sausage, and Greens Soup

Committee meeting working lunch, 2/23/12

This soup is hearty and satisfying. Combine with a piece of bread to make a complete, flavorful, and inexpensive meal. For more information on cooking beans, see the dry bean guide.

  • 2 teaspoons canola, vegetable, or olive oil, divided
  • ½ pound Italian sausage, or other sausage, sliced into ⅓” thick rounds
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped*
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped*
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 can white beans (cannellini, great northern, or navy), 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans, or .5 lb dry white beans, soaked 8-24 hours and drained*
  • optional additions: 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 10 ounces fresh or frozen greens (spinach, kale, or chard, or frozen collard greens)*
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Stovetop instructions (for canned or cooked beans):
In a large pot, heat 1 teaspoon oil. When hot, add sliced sausage and brown on both sides. Remove cooked sausage to a plate and return pot to the stove. Heat remaining teaspoon oil. Add chopped onion and cook over medium heat until beginning to brown, 7-9 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.

Add stock to the pot, scraping to release any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Return the sausage to the pot, then add beans (and bay leaf and rosemary, if desired). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Add greens and cook 5-20 minutes more, until greens are fully cooked and tender (time will depend on type of greens and whether they are fresh or frozen – taste them to know when they are done). Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve.

Slow cooker instructions (for soaked dry beans):
In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil. When hot, add sliced sausage and brown on both sides. Remove cooked sausage to the slow cooker and return skillet to the stove. Heat remaining teaspoon oil. Add chopped onion and cook over medium heat until beginning to brown, 7-9 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Remove garlic and onion to the slow cooker. Return the skillet to the stove. Add 1 cup of the stock and heat, scraping to release any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour stock with browned bits into slow cooker.

To the slow cooker, add remaining stock and soaked beans (and bay leaf and rosemary, if desired). Cook on low for 8 hours, then add greens and cook for another 30-45 minutes, until greens are fully cooked and tender (time will depend on type of greens and whether they are fresh or frozen – taste them to know when they are done). Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve.

Yield: 5-6 servings

*All of these can be grown in Nebraska and stored for winter use.

Lots-of-Apples Cake (Apple Sharlotka)

Committee meeting working lunch, 1/26/12

Slightly adapted from this recipe at SmittenKitchen.com

This cake is so delicious that it’s hard to stop at one piece. But since it’s mostly apples, making it healthier and lighter than many cakes, that’s not such a bad thing.

  • Butter or cooking spray for greasing pan
  • 6 large, tart apples (Granny Smiths are ideal)*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, almond extract, whiskey, brandy, rum, or other flavoring
  • 1 cup flour
  • Cinnamon for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” springform pan. (Note: you can also make this cake in a 7” x 11” sheet pan, although it is a little harder to get pieces out to eat.)

Peel the apples, then cut into bite-sized chunks. Pile the apples into the greased pan.

In a large bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Using a whisk or an electric mixer, beat until very thick. The batter should fall off the whisk in thick ribbons. Beat in vanilla or other flavoring. Gently stir in flour with a spoon or spatula until just combined.

Pour the batter over the apples in the pan. Smooth the batter and apples so that they are level.

Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes, until apples are soft and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Cool at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Dust with cinnamon before serving warm or at room temperature.

*While fruit trees can be finicky in Nebraska, local apples are available and can be stored well.