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Bratwurst, Butternut Squash, Potato, and Kale Stew

Variation from 4/3 - buffalo Italian sausage, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and turnips

Variation from 4/3 – buffalo Italian sausage, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and turnips

Adapted from CHOW

Community training session dinner, 2/20/13; Community training session dinner, 4/3/13 (with bison Italian sausage, sweet potatoes, and turnips)

Lots of colors in this stew mean that there are lots of vitamins and nutrients in it! You can substitute any kind of squash (or even sweet potatoes) for the butternut, and any kind of greens (fresh or frozen) for the kale. You could even try it with a different kind of sausage! Feel free to experiment to find what you like.

I have included a stovetop version and a lazy slow cooker version. In the stovetop versions, you brown the sausage and onions first, which gives a deeper and better flavor to the stew. But if you don’t have much time to prepare, you can skip it with the lazy version.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, canola, or olive oil
  • 12 ounces fresh bratwurst sausage, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
  • 1 small butternut squash, about 1 lb, chopped into roughly 1” cubes

Cut the squash between the rounded part and the straight part. Peel the skin off the squash using a vegetable peeler or a knife. After peeling, cut the rounded part in half (top to bottom). Use your fingers to take the seeds out of the squash (you can roast them later for a snack). Using a spoon, scoop out the stringy part that was around the seeds and throw it away. Cut the squash into roughly 1” cubes.

  • 10 ounces red potatoes, chopped into roughly 1” cubes
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes (or 1 quart home-canned tomatoes)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 6 oz kale or other greens, fresh or frozen
  • Black pepper, to taste

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: Heat a large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil, then brown the sausage pieces: allow to cook without stirring for 2-4 minutes, until the bottom is browned. Stir and cook 2-4 minutes longer, until browned on another side. Remove the browned sausage to a plate or bowl – it doesn’t need to be cooked through, just brown on the outside.

Add onion to pot. Cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until onions are soft, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and caraway seeds (if using) and cook 1 minute more. Add sausage back to the pot, then add the squash, potatoes, tomatoes with juice, water, and salt. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 35-50 minutes. Add the kale and simmer 6-8 minutes more. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

LAZY SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Place all ingredients except for kale and oil (kale comes later, and we don’t need oil here) in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 1.5-2 hours or low for 3-4 hours, until vegetables are tender. Add kale, cover, and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes on high or 20-30 minutes on low, until kale is wilted. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.

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Beef and Vegetable Stew

 Community training session dinner, 2/6/13

Beef stew is a delicious way to stretch a smaller, less expensive cut of meat. Slow cooking makes flavorful but tough cuts (like chuck roast, round roast, or pot roast) tender and delicious. In this stew, there is lots of hearty beef flavor, plus lots of healthy vegetables.

  • 6 tablespoons flour, divided between beef and vegetables
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless stew meat (chuck roast, round roast, pot roast, or other tough cut), cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup combination of chopped carrots and celery, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups beef broth (or use chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 6 – 8 cups chopped root vegetables – any combination of potatoes, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnip, or other, cut into rough 1” cubes

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: In bowl or plastic bag, combine 4 tablespoons flour and pepper. Add beef cubes and toss or shake to coat.

Heat a large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil, then brown the beef in batches: place some of the beef in the pan, just enough that it’s less than 1 layer (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan in places). Allow to cook without stirring for 2-4 minutes, until the bottom is deep brown. Stir and cook 2-4 minutes longer, until browned on another side. Remove the browned beef to a plate or bowl – it won’t be cooked through at this point, just deep brown on the outside.

Add onion, carrots/celery (if using), and garlic to pot. Cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until vegetables are soft, 6-8 minutes. If the vegetables are sticking, add a little water or stock to the pan. Once the vegetables are tender, add remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to coat. Add beef back to the pot, then add the broth, tomato paste, thyme, and rosemary to the pot. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

After 1 1/2 hours, add the chopped root vegetables. Stir, cover, and simmer for an additional 20-40 minutes, until vegetables and beef are completely tender. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.

SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Follow instructions above to prepare beef and flour. Brown beef in a large pan (see instructions above), then remove beef to slow cooker crock. Add onion, carrots/celery (if using), and garlic to pan. Cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until vegetables are soft, 6-8 minutes. If the vegetables are sticking, add a little water or stock to the pan. Once the vegetables are tender, add remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to coat. Add 1 cup beef broth to the pan, scraping up any browned-on bits. Pour vegetables and broth into crock with the beef. Add remaining broth, tomato paste, and thyme. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours. Then, add root vegetables, cover, and cook for an additional 1 hour on high or 1-2 hours on low, until vegetables and beef are completely tender. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.

Peppers and Potatoes with Pesto

Committee meeting working lunch, 8/16/12

This simple dish shows off the flavors of summer.

In a large pot, cover chopped potatoes with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.

While potatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet over high heat. Add oil, then add peppers with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until peppers are beginning to get browned and tender, about 5-7 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine cooked potatoes, cooked peppers, and pesto. Toss to combine. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Serves 6.

All the ingredients in bold are things you can grow in your own garden.

Potato Salad with Eggs and Dill

Garden or farmers market potatoes and farmers market eggs are far more flavorful than what you find in the grocery. Show them off in this dish. For a slightly lighter version of this dish, see here.

  • 2 lbs potatoes
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • salt, divided between cooking water and dressing
  • black pepper, to taste

Thoroughly wash potatoes and cut into bit-sized pieces. Place in a large pot and add enough water to cover by two inches. Add ½ teaspoon salt to the water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook for 8-10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender (timing will depend on the size of your pieces). When done, drain and allow to cool.

Roughly chop hard boiled eggs and combine with cooled potatoes in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk or stir together mustard, chopped dill, lemon juice or vinegar, mayonnaise, a large pinch of salt, and black pepper to taste. Pour over potatoes and eggs. Toss to combine. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Serves 8-10 as a side dish.

Herb-Grilled Potatoes
Adapted from Gourmet

Par-boiling the potatoes in advance helps them cook quickly and evenly on the grill. Use a mix of your favorite herbs from the garden or farmers market in this recipe. If you don’t feel like firing up the grill for these, you can also roast them.

  • herb-grilled potatoes2 lbs potatoes*, any variety
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped herbs* (any combination, including basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary, mint, etc)
  • 2 cloves garlic*, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Cut potatoes into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Cook in boiling salted water for 10 minutes (the potatoes won’t be done yet).

In the meantime, prepare the grill. (Or, if roasting, preheat oven to 350 degrees.)

Also in the meantime, prepare herb oil. In a large bowl, combine chopped herbs, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and olive oil. Mix well.

After 10 minutes, drain the potatoes. Add them to the bowl with the herb oil and toss or gently stir to completely coat potato slices.

When grill is ready, remove potato slices from oil and place on the grill. (Or, place on baking sheet in oven.) Cook, turning occasionally, until tender, about 5-10 minutes. When done, remove from grill (/oven), toss with remaining herb oil if desired, and serve.

Serves 4.

*You can grow these ingredients in your own garden.

Potato and Turnip Salad with Dijon-Dill Dressing

Community garden training dinner, 6/4/12

Backlit salad in the sunset at the picnic after garden training

The turnips in this salad add a new texture and flavor to the dish – each one you find is like a little fun surprise. If you prefer an all-potato salad, feel free to omit the turnips and use more potatoes. Even with no mayonnaise here, the hard boiled egg yolks and vinaigrette dressing combine to make a creamy salad. For a mayo-ed version of this salad, click here.

  • 1 ½ lbs potatoes (red or yukon gold [waxy, firmer] work best, but regular baking potatoes [starchy, more crumbly] work too)*
  • ½ lb turnips*
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs (see instructions here)
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • salt, divided between cooking water and dressing
  • black pepper, to taste

Wash potatoes. You do not need to peel them. Look at your turnips – if they are covered in wax from the grocery store, peel them. If they have no wax, wash them and do not peel.

Cut potatoes and turnips into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large pot and add enough water to cover by two inches. Add ½ teaspoon salt to the water. Bring the potatoes and turnips to a boil. Once boiling, cook for 5-8 minutes, or until both potatoes and turnips are tender (timing will depend on the size of your pieces). When done, drain potatoes and turnips and allow to cool.

Roughly chop hard boiled eggs and combine with cooled potatoes and turnips in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk or stir together mustard, chopped dill, lemon juice or vinegar, oil, a large pinch of salt, and black pepper to taste. Pour over potatoes, turnips, and eggs. Toss to combine. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Serves 8-10 as a side dish.

*Potatoes and turnips can be grown in your own garden.

Potatoes and Peas with Bacon

Community training dinner, 5/21/12

Frozen peas can be cooked right in a pan on the stove. In this recipe, they cook in bacon grease and pair up with boiled potatoes for a quick, easy, and tasty side dish.

  • 1 pound potatoes (red or yukon gold [waxy, firmer] work best, but regular baking potatoes [starchy, more crumbly] work too)
  • salt (divided between cooking water and final seasoning)
  • 3 strips bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (preferably freshly ground), depending on your preference

Wash potatoes. Cut into bite-sized pieces (you do not need to peel) and place in a pot of cold, salted water. Bring potatoes to a boil and cook until just tender, about 6-9 minutes. Drain.

While potatoes are cooking, prepare the bacon: cook chopped bacon in a very large pan over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the fat has rendered out. Add peas to the pan and cook until heated through, about 2-3 minutes.

Add drained potatoes to the peas in the pan, stirring, then add salt to taste and black pepper. Serve.

Serves 4-5 as a side dish.