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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Homemade Pasta Sauce

I was going to make pasta for dinner this week and got the sudden urge to not buy sauce, but instead make my own. Sadly, I still have not received tomatoes in my CSA, so I went and bought some organic ones at the market. I had some yummy basil from my CSA and I couldn't wait to use it up!

Homemade Pasta Sauce
2 lb Plum tomatoes, peeled*
1 red onion, chopped
1 head garlic, roasted**
3 small carrots, peeled and chopped
1 C fresh basil, chopped
2 T dried oregano
2 T olive oil

2-3 C Vegetable Stock
1/4 C red wine (optional)
1 small bunch of basil
2 garlic scapes
1 T olive oil
2 T Nutritional Yeast

In large sauce pan heat oil over medium heat, then add onions and carrots and saute 5-7 minutes. Add basil tomatoes (whole), and garlic cloves, then cover with stock - don't make it too liquidy, just enough to cover tomatoes. Add red wine and stir thoroughly. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, drop down to low and simmer as long as you can until the tomatoes break down. Ideally you would slow simmer for 6 - 8 hours, stirring often and breaking apart the tomatoes. Once the sauce is done, set to cool for an hour. In a food processor, add scapes, basil and olive oil, then process until smooth. Add 1/2 the sauce and process on low just until smooth, not completely though, with small chunks. Place in bowl. Add rest of unprocessed sauce to processor and nutritional yeast and process on medium until a bit smoother than the last batch. Add to bowl and mix together thoroughly. Reheat when ready to use.

*To peel a tomato, place them in boiling water for about 10 minutes until skin starts to crack. Shock them with cold water and peel off the skin with your hands.

**Slice off the top of garlic exposing the tips of the cloves. Place in baking dish and drizzle with oil. Bake 15 minutes at 400 until garlic tops turn golden brown. Remove from oven and using a fork or some other small point, pop out the roasted garlic cloves

Mushroom Bacon

I opted for a CSA of mushrooms this summer. I did this on a whim since my husband does not like mushrooms, but I promised him that 1 pound of mushrooms a week would help change his mind. The key has been trying to find different ways of cooking mushrooms. This recipe does just that. He devoured these delicious little strips eagerly at dinner last night and insisted I put the recipe on my blog for others to enjoy. Being a vegetarian 95% of the time, bacon is something we miss eating. Why is there something so special about bacon? Well, whatever the reason, here it is....the best vegetarian bacon I've ever had.

Mushroom Bacon
1 lb King Oysters, thinly sliced in strips
4 T butter (at's not healthy, but either is bacon)
salt and pepper (lots of these, too!)

Preheat oven to 375 and oil a baking sheet. Meanwhile, melt a tablespoon of butter in a heavy cast iron skillet and add a 1/4 of the strips of mushroom. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until bottom is dark brown (but not burnt). Flip and cook until dark brown. Set on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mushrooms. Bake for 5 minutes and serve hot!

These would be excellent in omelets, or on BLT's (or MLT's as they would be called), or on any type of breakfast sandwich. We had them as a side to baked eggs and cheese. Delicious!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pesto & Veggie Egg Sandwich

I love this time of year for CSA's because everything is green. Green foods energize me and get me on track for summer fun. This weeks CSA shares had the once a year delight, garlic scapes, in abundance. Scapes are the tops of the garlic that shoot up in early summer. To get nice fat garlic heads, the farmer cuts the scapes so that nutrients are no longer lost on these shoots. The scapes are long and curly and have a mild garlic taste. I use them in everything I would use garlic in, plus add them raw to my salads. This recipe also calls for pesto, which I had a jar of in my fridge, but I'm thinking next time I'd like to try and make a spinach scape pesto. Either way, this open-face sandwich was kick-ass. I also used bread and mushrooms from my CSA add-ons, too. This is one yummy, Maine grown meal!

Pesto & Veggie Egg Sandwich
4 eggs
2 C spinach, ripped into pieces
1 tomato, sliced into rounds
4 T pesto (or more if you love pesto like I do!)
1 C blue oyster mushrooms, chopped (this really could be any type of mushroom)
2T unsalted butter
4 thick slices of bread
4 oz shredded cheese (I used a creamy onion & herb cheese from Pineland Farms)

Melt butter in skillet and saute mushrooms for 5 minutes, then add spinach and scapes. Saute for another 2 minutes until spinach is wilted. Meanwhile, toast the bread and spread 1 tablespoon of pesto on each slice. Add sliced tomatoes and spinach & mushroom mixture. Quickly fry 4 eggs, leaving yolks runny and place one on top of each sandwich. Sprinkle with cheese and serve with a large salad for a quick, summery lunch or dinner.