Category Archives: Recipes

Seasonal Recipe: Spring Panzanella

Spring Panzanella

This lovely recipe from Smitten Kitchen captures the essence of spring.

Serves about 4 as a main and 6 as a side

For the croutons:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 cups day-old bread, crust removed, cubed
6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the vinaigrette:
Half a red onion, finely diced
2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

For the salad:
4 large leeks
2 teaspoons salt
1 pound asparagus
1 19-ounce can of white beans, rinsed and drained or 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Mix the bread cubes with the garlic, olive oil, parmesan, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss to coat well. Transfer bread to a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake stirring once or twice, until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Mix the red onion with the vinegar and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside for a few minutes before whisking in the remaining vinaigrette ingredients: olive oil and dijon. Set aside.

Cut off dark green tops of leeks and trim root ends. Halve each leek lengthwise to within 2 inches of root end. Rinse well under cold running water to wash away sand. Cover leeks with cold water in a 12-inch heavy skillet. Add salt and simmer leeks, uncovered, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Without draining the cooking water (you will reuse it for the asparagus), transfer leeks to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking, then pat the leeks dry with paper towels. Break off tough ends of asparagus and cook it in the boiling water until crisp-tender, no more than three minutes if they’re pencil-thin, more if your asparagus is thicker. Transfer it to another bowl of ice water, drain and pat it dry.

Cut the leeks and the asparagus each into one-inch segments–the leeks will be especially slippery and prone to separating; hold firm and use a sharp knife! Place pieces in a large bowl and mix in beans and cooled parmesan croutons. Pour vinaigrette over and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.

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Spotlight on Pulses: A Superfood Before its Time

Pulses, a source of nutritional meals throughout the world, are getting special recognition this year. The United Nations has designated 2016 as the “International Year of Pulses,” highlighting not only their nutritional benefits but also their role in sustainable food production, food security, nutrition, and reducing the environmental impact of food production.

Part of the legume family, pulses are grown and harvested solely for their dry edible seeds. Dried beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils are the most commonly known pulses, all of which are high in protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals such as zinc and iron. Legumes that are harvested green, such as green beans and green peas, are not considered pulses (though are equally tasty).

Pulses have been a part of traditional diets for centuries not only for their high nutritional value, but also for their low impact on the environment and long shelf life. Often grown by small farmers in regions such as Africa, Asia, and Latin America, pulses can be stored for months without losing their nutritional value, increasing food availability between harvests.

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Additionally, pulses can contribute to sustainable agricultural production. The Food and Agriculture Organization’s fact sheet on pulses highlights that these crops are more water efficient compared to other protein sources. Just 13 gallons of water are needed to produce 2.2 pounds of split peas or lentils compared to 1,142 gallons for the same amount of chicken, and 3,434 gallons for the same amount of beef. Due to their unique nitrogen fixing properties, pulses can also improve soil fertility, reduce the need for fertilizer, and extend farmland productivity. Crop residues from grain legumes can also be used as animal fodder, further reducing waste.

In addition to being nutritious and good for the environment, pulses are also delicious! Baked beans, split pea soup, daal, falafel, and chili are just a few examples of pulse-based meals you have undoubtedly eaten and enjoyed.

Pulses figure prominently in Slow Food’s Ark of Taste, a living catalog of distinctive foods that are in danger of disappearing. Identifying and championing these foods keeps them in production and on our plates. In the mid-Atlantic region, pulses such as the Cherokee Trail of Tears Bean, the True Red Cranberry Bean, and the Turkey Craw Bean have been identified as having specific historic or cultural importance.

You can search Local Harvest’s website to find local producers of these ingredients, and many more included in the Ark of Taste. More information about the UN’s “International Year of Pulses” can be found on the Food and Agriculture Organization’s website.

Below are a few ideas to whet your appetite for incorporating more of this superfood into your diet.   Already have some favorite recipes using pulses? Let us know!

Lentil Salad with Radicchio and Almonds
Serves 4
Adapted from Plenty More, by Yotam Ottolenghi

1 cup Puy Lentils
2 Bay Leaves
Scant 3 Tablespoons Honey
1/4 tsp Red Chile Flakes
1/2 tsp ground Turmeric
3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 medium head Radicchio
2 oounces Pecorino
1 cup toasted almonds
2/3 cup Basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 1/3 cups Dill leaves, coarsely chopped
Salt and Black Pepper

Place the lentils in a saucepan, cover with plenty of water, add the bay leaves, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until tender.  Drain well and return to the pan.

Whisk together the vinegar, half the oil, the honey, the chile flakes, the turmeric, 3/4 tsp salt, and some black pepper until the honey dissolves.  Stir into the lentils while they are still hot, then leave to cool down a little, discarding the bay leaves.

To cook the radicchio, pour the remaining oil into a sauté pan and place over high heat.  Cut the radicchio into 8 wedges and place the wedges in the hot oil.  Cook them for about 1 minute on each side and transfer to a large bowl.

Add the lentils, almonds, pecorino, and herbs to the bowl.  Stir gently and serve warmish or at room temperature.

Hummus
Makes about 2 cups

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (or roughly 2 cups drained, cooked chickpeas)
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon), plus more to taste
1 small clove of garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Drain canned or stovetop cooked chickpeas into a strainer and rinse under cool running water. If you have the time and patience, pinch the skins from each of the chickpeas to make a smoother hummus.

Combine the chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process the hummus until it becomes very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to integrate any large chunks.

Taste. If using any of the variation ingredients, add those now and process again. If your hummus is stiffer than you’d like, add more lemon juice or olive oil to make the hummus creamier.

Scrape the hummus into a bowl and serve with pita chips or raw vegetables.

Hummus will also keep for up to a week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Variations – your imagination is your only limit here!

  • Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of spices for more flavor, such as cumin, sumac, harissa, smoked paprika, or zatar.
  • For a roasted vegetable hummus, blend in 1 cup of roasted vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, or garlic.
  • For an olive hummus, fold in 3/4 cup of chopped green or black olives.
  • Drizzle a little pomegranate molasses or sprinkle a pinch of sumac on top.

 

 

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Seasonal recipe: Chesapeake Slider with Chili Salsa and Pickled Veggies   

This recipe comes from local chef and SFDC board member, Mark Haskell, who whipped these up at the Burgers and Brews for the Bay event in October 2015! It originally appeared in the September 2015 SFDC newsletter.

 Ingredients

  • mini buns
  • pickled chilies
  • pickled okra

Meat:

  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast or similar (10-15% fat), cut into cubes
  • 1/2 pound smoked bacon
  • 1 pound fresh picnic or boston butt roast, skinned (10-15% fat), cut into cubes
  • 1 cup, onion & garlic, sliced, sauteed in oil/lard/butter until soft
  • 3 TBSP dried red pepper pimenton/paprika
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs: oregano, thyme, marjoram
  • 2 TBSP Salt
  • 2 TBSP black Pepper
  • 1 TBSP cumin, toasted & ground
Chili Chow Salsa:
  • onion, diced
  • fresh chiles, diced
  • pickled Chesapeake Fish Chiles & liquid, diced
  • fresh tomato, diced
  • fresh mint & cilantro leaves, chopped
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • a little sugar or honey, to taste

Directions

MEAT

Put the meats & sauteed onion/garlic through a meat grinder, first through the large grinder, then a second time through the small grinder.

Mix in the other ingredients, mixing well so all the seasonings are evenly distributed.

Cook a small piece to test the seasoning, add whatever you want, to taste.

Refrigerate the seasoned mixture for 6 hours or overnight so flavors can come together.

SALSA

Mix together and season to taste use pickling liquid and water (or tomato water if you’ve got it) to hydrate. (Proportions are your choice for the spice level.)

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER AND DEVOUR

Assemble buns with meat, salsa, and pickled chilis and/or pickled okra.

We try to feature a delicious new recipe in each newsletter. If you would like to have one shared with the SFDC community, please send it to  info@slowfooddc.org and we’ll see what we can do.

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Seasonal recipe: Mixed Melon Salad

This recipe comes from food educator and SFDC board member, Ibti Vincent, who whipped up a batch at the Snail winning Crossroads Farmers Market during their National Farmers Market Week  celebration!  It was featured in our August 2015 SFDC newsletter.

Ingredients
Salad:
  • 1/2 red watermelon, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 yellow watermelon, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cantaloupe, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-2 peaches or a pint of berries, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 handful fresh basil and mint leaves, chopped into thin ribbons
  • 1 block feta cheese, crumbled or chopped
Dressing:
  • 1 tsp honey
  • zest and juice from 1 lime
  • 2-3 tsp olive oil
  • fresh pepper, to taste

Directions

Whisk together dressing, then toss with remaining ingredients.
Keeps in the fridge for a couple of days…if you can resist devouring the whole bowl that long.
We try to feature a delicious new recipe in each newsletter. If you would like to have one shared with the SFDC community, please send it to  info@slowfooddc.org and we’ll see what we can do.

 

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Seasonal recipe:  Ratatouille

 This traditional French Provencal vegetable dish, original to Nice, is a wonderful way to use fresh, summer vegetables!   It was originally included in our July 2015 SFDC newsletter.

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant
  • 2-3 peppers (a mix of colors is best)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 summer squash
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Few handfuls of chopped basil
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions

Chop the onions and saute in olive oil until soft and translucent.  Add the garlic. Chop all the vegetables.

Add the eggplant and peppers to the pot saute for a few minutes until soft.  Add the squash and cook for a few minutes more.

Add the tomatoes and red wine, cover and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 15-20 minutes.

Taste for seasoning, and add the fresh basil at the end.

Serve over polenta or with some crusty bread.

We try to feature a delicious new recipe in each newsletter. If you would like to have one shared with the SFDC community, please send it to  info@slowfooddc.org and we’ll see what we can do.

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Seasonal recipe: Strawberry and Spinach Salad

This recipe for Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette is adapted from the FreshFarm Markets website. It is just one of many recipes that was prepared and devoured at schools around the city for  Strawberries and Salad Greens Day (May 20, 2015) — an annual event put on by DC’s Dept of Education that encourages kids to eat more fresh, local fruits and veggies. This recipe appeared in the June 2015 SFDC newsletter.

 

(Though we are SLOW Food, this salad is actually a snap to prepare.) Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon shallots, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, preferably organic
  • 8 cups fresh spinach, well washed and dried
  • 2 ounces arugula, optional

Directions

Heat a small skillet over low heat, add the sesame seeds and toast them for about two minutes, or just until they begin to brown. (Be careful not to burn them.) Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk the honey, vinegar, olive oil, shallot, paprika, salt and pepper. Add the sesame seeds and whisk until all are combined.

Wash the strawberries only just before making this salad. After washing, hull the strawberries and slice each strawberry into about 4 or 5 slices. Set aside.

Place the spinach and optional arugula in a large bowl and toss the dressing with the greens, ensuring all their leaves are well coated.

Place a mound of this salad on each of 4 salad plates and garnish with the sliced strawberries. Enjoy immediately. (Like we had to tell you that last bit….)

We try to feature a delicious new recipe in each newsletter. If you would like to have one shared with the SFDC community, please send it to  info@slowfooddc.org and we’ll see what we can do.

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Seasonal recipe: Quinoa Bowls

This seasonal recipe provided by SFDC board member, Ibti Vincent. The recipe was taste tested and much beloved by 3rd graders and their parents alike. The recipe appears in the April 2015 SFDC newsletter.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa, pre-rinsed
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch raw kale, stems removed, leaves sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup lentils, pre-cooked
  • a few handfuls of pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, toasted
  • Dressing or pesto of your choice
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water (or stock) and quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until water is absorbed, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, prepare your toppings. Sauté onions in a medium pot with a splash of olive oil until soft (about 5 minutes). Add in garlic and kale, and toss to coat.

Continue cooking until kale wilts (another 3-5 minutes), adding a splash of water if needed to prevent burning.

In a small saucepan, saute radishes with butter on medium heat, stirring, for 5-10 minutes, until tender but still firm.

Give each person a bowl with a few scoops of quinoa, and they can add whichever mix-ins they like: kale, radishes, carrots, lentils, seeds, dressing, etc.

Notes

You can make a quinoa bowl with just about anything! Try:

  • Salad dressings: Asian sesame, sweet balsamic vinaigrette, lemon juice and olive oil, etc.
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro and/or parsley
  • ¼ cup crumbled low-fat feta cheese
  • 1 TBSP sliced raw unsalted almonds
  • other legumes in place of lentils: chickpeas, kidney or white beans, etc.
  • Leftover steamed broccoli, brussels sprouts, snap peas, sweet potato….

You can also swap in other whole grains (brown rice, farro, etc) and add leftover bits of meat/poultry for a new twist on things.

We try to feature a delicious new recipe in each newsletter. If you would like to have one shared with the SFDC community, please send it to  info@slowfooddc.org and we’ll see what we can do.

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Seasonal recipe: Winter Pickles 

 Recipe provided by Slow Food Boardmember and pickling maven, Ibti Vincent. These two recipes were used in a hands-on pickling class at Rooting DC this February and featured root vegetables and garlic from nearby New Morning Farm.

 

Homemade Pickling Spice

Makes about 24 tsp (enough for about 24 pints of pickles!) It’s handy to have a jar of this around for spontaneous pickle making.

Ingredients

  • 6 TBSP mustard seed
  • 1 ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 4-6 tsp coriander seed
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, crushed (I used a hammer – nothing like breaking out a tool box in the kitchen)
  • 6 whole cloves, crushed (the hammer again….)

Directions

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

AND NOW THAT YOU HAVE YOUR PICKLING SPICE READY…

Pint o’ Winter Pickles

This is a great way to use up odds and ends of winter root vegetables. You can use the same recipe for summer veggies as well, but if you do be sure to add a fresh grape leaf to keep the waterier veggies crunchy. This recipe is adapted from http://abikeablefeast.blogspot.com. Makes 1 pint.

Combine in a freshly cleaned pint jar:

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup white or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 1 tsp pickling spice (well, look at you, you’ve made your own!)
  • 1 tsp coarse salt

Stir, and let stand at room temperature until the sugar and salt dissolve. Next, add:

  • 1 sprig dill (because these are pickles, after all)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 hot pepper or pinch of chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 star anise (optional, especially nice to have this liquorice flavor with beets)
  • washed and thinly sliced beets, turnips, and/or radishes

If the veggies aren’t completely submerged, top off with a half-water/half-vinegar mixture as needed.

Seal and refrigerate for 7-10 days. Use within 3 months. (Psh. Like you can resist for that long….)

We try to feature a delicious new recipe in each newsletter. If you would like to have one shared with the SFDC community, please send it to  info@slowfooddc.org and we’ll see what we can do.

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Irresistible Shrimp and Grits

For your mouth-watering pleasure, I offer you this recipe, adapted from Saveur. It came about after a handful of Slow Foodies visited George Washington’s Gristmill at historic Mount Vernon. It has been tested in the kitchen of at least one SFDC board member, to much acclaim. It serves 4 people as a main course.

 Ingredients
  • 1 cup George Washington’s Gristmill grits (seriously, they’re the best!)
  • 4½ cups chicken broth
  • Olive oil
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp (about 30), peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1-2 handfuls shiitake mushrooms, washed, patted dry, then thinly sliced (I like the ones from North Cove Mushrooms, at the Dupont farmers’ market)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup grated cheddar
  • ¼ cup freshly shaved parmesan
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions

In a medium cast iron pot, bring 4 cups chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and whisk in grits. Cook, whisking frequently, until grits are tender and creamy, 30–40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium/large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel–lined plate; set aside. Reserve cooking fat in skillet.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat, add shrimp to skillet and cook, turning once, until bright pink, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp with a slotted spoon to a dish that you can keep warm in a 200F oven.

Lower burner heat to medium, then add mushrooms to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (about 5 minutes), then add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).

Raise heat to high, add remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth, and scrape bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon. Cook until broth reduces by half (about 3 minutes).

Return shrimp to skillet along with remaining butter and cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens, (about 1 minute).

Stir 1 TBSP butter into grits, along with parmesan. Sprinkle cheddar on top, then use a blowtorch (if you’re brave) or a creme brulee torch (if you’re fainthearted like me) to melt the cheese.

Divide grits between 4 bowls; top each with shrimp and sauce. Garnish each bowl with bacon and scallions.

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Seasonal recipe: Panettone Bread Pudding 

Recipe provided by Slow Food Board co-chair, Sarah McKinley, and featured in the January 2015 SFDC newsletter.

 
Panettone – an Italian sweet bread from Milan, like a cross between fruitcake and ciabatta – is traditionally prepared and eaten around Christmas. If you’re like me, you tend to stock up on enough Panettone to feed an army around the holidays and have tons leftover that needs to be creatively re-purposed. This recipe turns your post-holiday stale Panettone into an extra-silky custard with a generous expanse of buttery golden brown crispness on top

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup brandy or rum, heated
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 pound panettone, sliced 1 inch thick
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • Accompaniment: lightly whipped heavy cream

Directions

Soak raisins in hot brandy or rum 15 minutes, then drain (keep brandy/rum to add to the whipped cream or use for a topping sauce). Meanwhile, butter panettone on both sides and cook in batches in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until golden brown on both sides. Whisk together remaining ingredients. Tear panettone into bite-size pieces and spread evenly in a buttered 13-by 9-inch baking dish. Scatter raisins over top, then pour in egg mixture. Let stand 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Bake until pudding is golden and just set, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cooks’ note: Bread pudding can be made 2 days ahead and chilled. Reheat before serving.

We try to feature a delicious new recipe in each newsletter. If you would like to have one shared with the SFDC community, please send it to  info@slowfooddc.org and we’ll see what we can do.

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