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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ratatouille Casserole

This time of year is my favorite for the vegetables that are being harvested in New England. Eggplant, summer squash, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, kale....and all that says to me is Ratatouille. My CSA from Center Pond in Phippsburg, and my dear friend on the other side of town, have supplied me with all of these wonderful ingredients, right down to the basil and rosemary.

Recently I was diagnosed with an intestinal disorder, so I've had to modify my diet drastically. This was the first meal I ate that wasn't buttered toast or a banana, in almost a week. I am so happy to say that it 100% commits to the low FOMAP diet I am following, but is also amazingly delicious. We served ours over tricolor quinoa, but you could also do rice. The amounts are all rough approximations based on what I had on hand - use more or less of anything to suit your needs and tastes.

(photos by the wonderful bf)

(serves 4-6)

1C fingerling potatoes, sliced thinly
1C japanese eggplants, sliced thinly
1C summer squash, sliced thinly
1/2C carrot, sliced thinly
1 tomato, sliced thinly
1-2 C vegetable stock, depending on how soupy you want it
1/4C fresh basil, chopped
2 sprigs rosemary
1/4C cheese, shredded
3T oil
1T salt
pepper to taste

Place eggplant in a pie plate and sprinkle with all the salt, place other veggies (except tomato, which is a fruit anyway) in another pie plate and nestle on top of the eggplant. Let sit 10 minutes before you start the
cooking process. This will press the water out of the eggplant, taking away any bitterness. In a cast iron deep skillet heat 1T oil over medium heat until sizzling, then add potatoes, spreading them around the bottom of the pan. Cook until they start to brown a bit, then flip them and cook until the other side is equally brown. Remove from heat and set aside. In same pan add another 1T oil and heat over medium heat until sizzling. Add in carrots and summer squash and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Meanwhile, dry off eggplant with a cloth removing salt and excess water. Toss in with the summer squash and carrots and stir. Let cook, stirring once or twice for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Add 1T oil to the pan and heat. Place potatoes on the bottom of the pan evenly spaced. Layer with summer squash, eggplant and carrot. Turn off heat and pour in stock. Spread tomato slices over the top. Sprinkle with basil, lay the rosemary over the top and sprinkle with cheese. Sprinkle with pepper. Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mushroom Zucchini Risotto

We got a nice big zucchini from our CSA at Center Pond Farm and I couldn't wait to cook it up. But there were so many options! Of course, my default is always risotto. This zucchini was big enough that I didn't have to use it all for one meal, so risotto has been made with two-thirds of the zucchini intact and waiting for another meal. This risotto was the first time my youngest son exclaimed that he now LOVED risotto, and that he would eat anything with mushrooms in it. I call that a success!

Mushroom Zucchini Risotto
(serves 4)

2 Portabella mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 T butter
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 C)
4 cloves garlic, chopped (about 2 T)
1 T olive oil
1 C arborio rice
1 C white wine/or stock (I had 1 C left-over chicken stock)
6 C stock, kept warm
1 C zucchini, shredded
2 T fresh sage, minced
2 T fresh parsley, minced
2 T butter
1/4 C parmesan cheese
salt & pepper, to taste

In a large skillet heat butter and add mushrooms, cooking until soft. Remove mushrooms from pan & set aside. Add olive oil, onions and garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Add in arborio rice and mushrooms and stir to coat rice thoroughly. Saute for 2 minutes, then add in 1 C of wine or stock and start stirring. Continuing adding in 1 C of until al dente. With last cup of stock, add in zucchini, sage and parsley. Once that last cup has been absorbed and the rice is creamy and cooked, add in butter, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and serve immediately with crusty bread, and salad.