Simple Farm to Table Recipes
Timing the Harvest in The Capital Region
New World Home Cooking
Strawberry, Goat Cheese and Basil Bruschette
with Balsamic Vinegar and Cracked Pepper Dressing
Local strawberry season is one of those agricultural events that starts with a trickle, proceeds to a flood and then dries up almost overnight.
This recipe provides a good opportunity to use up those delicious berries that may be slightly bruised or imperfect.
There are three steps to follow. The balsamic syrup can be made in advance and reserved in a glass jar indefinitely.
For the Balsamic Syrup:
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons turbinado or white sugar
In a non-reactive pot cook at a moderate simmer until reduced by half. Don’t let it get too thick as its density will double once it cools.
This makes extra balsamic syrup.
For the Bruschette:
One French baguette, sliced on a bias about ½ thick inot 24 slices
Grill or broil the slices of bread so it is still soft in the center, but crisp on the outside. Reserve warm.
For the Salad:
3 cups ripe strawberries, hulled and cut in half lengthwise, not too small.
20 - 25 fresh basil leaves
8 ounces mild goat cheese
fresh black pepper
Put strawberries in a salad bowl.
Tear or gently chop the basil into bite-size pieces.
Add the chopped basil to the strawberries. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and a generous cracking of black pepper and fold gently together.
Smear each bruschetta with goat cheese, spoon on a tablespoon or so of strawberry basil-mix. Drizzle with balsamic syrup and finish with a generous cracking of black pepper.
LONG ISLAND BLUE WITH PUTTANESCA FRESCA SAUCE
Whether fresca really means cold or raw doesn't really matter. In this case we mean that is an uncooked sauce and the sound of the word cruda is ruda. Just toss this room temperature sauce with freshly cooked hot pasta for a luscious celebration of summer tomatoes! Or as in this case, spoon over seared bluefish and finish for 5 minutes in the oven.
This is a nice recipe for using the ends of sliced tomatoes or real delicious tomatoes that may have a crack or bruise. Just cut of the defective part and dice the rest.
4 cups coarsely diced ripe tomatoes
2 large cloves garlic, minced to a puree
5 minced anchovies
1/4 cups capers with some juice
1/4 cups kalamata, gaeta, oil cured black olives, coarsely chopped
Generous grinding of black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cups chopped parsley
Toss well and let stand at room temperature for one hour before mixing with hot pasta of your choice.
Fresh Corn Consomme with variations
One you have made my simple recipe for roasted corn “stock”, making this lusciously summery corn based soup is a breeze! The following consommé is a clear broth, elegant, sophisticated and earthy at the same time. I have included several variations that utilize the accent of seafood and herbs to show juts how versatile corn stock is.
Roasted Corn Stock
8 ears of fresh corn in husk
one small onion
1 chipotle chile
1 clove garlic
3 sprigs of cilantro
1 sprig of basil
1 sprig of thyme
• roast corn in husk in 450 oven for 20-30 minutes
• when cool enough to handle shuck cleanly and then cut corn off cob. Reserve corn.
• put cobs in heavy pot with the rest of the ingredients and 12 cups of water or chicken stock
• bring to a rolling boil then simmer for 45 minutes
Cool & Strain & season
2 quarts roasted corn stock, strained well
2 cup fresh corn cut from the cob
½ cup red bell pepper, cut into fine brunoise
1 cup freshly cut chives or scallions
2 tablesppons fresh basil leaves, try spicy glige of you grew some this year
a few drops of hot sauce
salt to taste
Make sure all vegetables are room temperature.
Heat the broth until just simmering. Add a pinch of salt and hot sauce and taste.
You should taste sweet, salt and a pinch of tangy heat.
In four low profile bowls, divide the corn, peppers, scallions and basil leaves.
Gently ladle the hot broth into each bowl and serve piping hot.
Variation - Corn Consomme with Lobster
- This strikes the perfect balance between luxury and sensibility---excellent flavor and beauty of lobster in a low fat and clean soup! This makes an impressive starter for a formal dinner or can be a stunning lunch, served with a bottle of Millbrook Chardonnay followed by a Spring Radish and Radish greens Salad with butter vinaigrette (Page --) .
Same as above plus-
2 I ½ pound lobsters
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, roughly minced.
2 extra cups of corn stock
Boil the lobster at 7 minutes in heavily salted water. Reove from water and plunge in ice water and cool the lobster
Remove all of the lobster meat .
Remove the shells and roast them as descrived in the lobster stock recipe on page --- Place the shells in a heavy pot and add the corn stock and the stems from the tarragon. Cook for 45 minutes over a medium simmer. Cool and stain well, pressing on the shells to extract all of the flavor.
Cut the tail meat into hearty cubes and, if possible, slice the claw meat in half lengthwise, preserving the shape if the claw. If not, just dice up the claw meat. Leave the knuckle meat whole.
If there is any roe or tomalley, spoon a small amount into the center of each bowl
Arrange the veggies again, topped by the lobster. Ladle on the hot broth and savor the aroma as well as the taste and texture.
Thai Watermelon Relish
Perfect BBQ food, your friends will bow to you!
4 Cups diced, seeded watermelon
2 cups sliced cucumbers
1 sliced red onion
1 peeled carrot, sliced paper thin, in halves
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
¼ cup Thai fish sauce
chopped peanuts (optional)
1 tbls crushed red pepper or 2 medium jalapeno sliced or 4 serranos slices
2 tbls mint
2 tbls cilantro
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
Variation—Top with grilled or fried chicken, shrimp, pork or tofu!