Eggs In A Nest

Eggs In A Nest

This recipe makes dinner for a family of four, but can easily be cut in half or used for breakfast substituting toast for the rice. Don’t be afraid to experiment with it .

2 cups uncooked brown rice
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic minced
2-3 carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried tomatoes
1 bunch chard, coarsley chopped leaves and finely chopped stems
8 eggs

Cook the rice with 4 cups of water in a covered pot while the other ingredients are being prepared.

Add a few tablespoons olive oil to a 10-12-inch cast-iron skillet. Sauté the onions and garlic until lightly golden. Add the carrots and tomatoes. Add just enough water to rehydrate the tomatoes and sauté for a few more minutes. Add chard and combine with other vegetables. Cover for a few minutes while the chard wilts down.

Uncover, stir well, then use the back of a spoon to make depressions in the cooked leaves, circling the pan like numbers on a clock. Break an egg into each depression, being careful to keep yolks whole. Cover pan again and allow eggs to poach for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over rice.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce epicurious.com

2-3 Carmen red peppers
1 medium tomato
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Char bell pepper and tomatoes directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Transfer tomatoes to plate. Enclose pepper in paper bag 10 minutes. Peel, halve, and seed tomatoes; place in blender. Peel, seed, and chop pepper; add to blender. Add oil, vinegar, garlic, and cayenne; blend until smooth. Season sauce with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

One-Minute Salsa

One-Minute Salsa

1/2 small serrano chile, minced
1/4 small red onion, peeled and root end removed
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 teaspoon table salt
pinch ground black pepper
2 teaspoons lime juice from 1 lime
2 small tomatoes (about 3/4 pound), ripe, each cored and cut into eighths, or one (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

Pulse all ingredients except tomatoes in food processor until minced, about five 1-second pulses, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Add tomatoes and pulse until roughly chopped, about two 1-second pulses.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Fresh Tomato Salsa

1 pound vine-ripened red and/or orange tomatoes (about 3 medium)
1 fresh serrano or jalapeño chiles
1/8 medium onion (preferably white)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Quarter and seed tomatoes. Cut tomatoes into 1/4-inch dice and transfer to a bowl. Wearing rubber gloves, seed and finely chop chiles. Finely chop enough onion to measure 1/8 cup and chop cilantro. Stir chiles, onion, cilantro, and garlic into tomatoes with sugar and lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Salsa may be made 1 hour ahead and kept at cool room temperature.

Tuscan Farro And Bean Soup

Tuscan Farro And Bean Soup

1 cup fresh borlotti or cranberry beans
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
8 cups water
1 large tomato (1/2 lb), coarsely chopped 1
/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
10 fresh sage leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup whole-grain farro, or spelt
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Shell beans and pick over. Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in water, beans, tomato, parsley, sage, and thyme and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a bare simmer, partially covered, stirring oc- casionally until beans are tender, about 1/2 hour.
Discard thyme sprigs, then blend mixture in batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a large bowl. Return soup to pot and bring to a boil. Add farro and salt, then re- duce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until farro is tender (it will be chewy like barley), about 30 minutes. Stir in pepper and serve drizzled with additional oil.

Kale Quinoa Salad

The following recipe comes from a chef friend of ours and member:

Kale Quinoa Salad

For the dressing:
1 clove garlic
1 small shallot
3 tablespoons soy
1 tablespoon brown miso
1 tablespoon tahini
1/4 cup rice wine
1/2 lemon (if you have it)
3/4 cup olive oil

For the salad:
4 cups shredded kale
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup sliced apple 1/2
cup tomato chunks
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup cooked quinoa (cooled)

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and purée. In a large bowl assemble the salad ingredi- ents and toss with the dressing. Let it stand for at least 15 minutes for the kale to tenderize. Serve. Keeps well for the next day as well.

Green Beans Braised in Tomatoes

Green Beans Braised in Tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 pound green beans, stem ends snapped off
Table salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, minced

Heat oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add on- ion; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking another minute. Add tomatoes; simmer until juices thicken slightly, about 5 minutes.

Add green beans, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a few grind- ings of pepper to pan. Stir well, cover, and cook, stir- ring occasionally, until beans are tender but still offer some resistance to the bite, about 20 minutes. Stir in parsley and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.

Linguine with Spicy Leek and Tomato Sauce

Linguine with Spicy Leek and Tomato Sauce

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), split lengthwise, sliced crosswise
1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
12 ounces linguine
1 3/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add next 3 ingredients; sauté 1 minute. Add leeks; sauté until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add diced tomatoes; stir 1 minute. Add wine and vinegar; bring to boil. Cover and cook until tomatoes break down, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 1/4 cups pasta cooking liquid.
Add pasta, 1/2 cup reserved pasta liquid, and 3/4 cup cheese to sauce in skillet. Toss over medium-high heat until sauce coats pasta, adding more liquid by 1/4 cup- fuls if dry. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing 1 cup cheese separately.

Potato Gratin with Sweet Peppers and Tomatoes

Potato Gratin with Sweet Peppers and Tomatoes

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 pounds all-purpose potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick or less
Table salt and ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dry vermouth
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaf
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced thin
3 medium tomatoes, sliced thin
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Rub bottom and sides of 5- to 6-cup gratin dish or shallow baking dish with garlic. Mince remaining garlic and set aside. Once garlic in dish has dried, about 2 minutes, spread dish with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.

Heat remaining oil in medium saucepan and sauté on- ion and reserved garlic until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, water, vermouth, 1 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, basil, and cayenne (if desired).

Pour half of potato mixture into prepared dish; top with bell pepper. Add remaining potato mixture and cover with tomatoes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Shake dish or use fork to distribute potatoes evenly. Gently press down potatoes until submerged in liquid.
Bake, basting once or twice, for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and continue baking until top is golden brown, about 40 minutes more. Let rest 5 minutes and serve.

Fresh Kale Salad in Soy Miso Dressing

Fresh Kale Salad in Soy Miso Dressing

For dressing:
1 cl garlic
1 shallot
3 T soy
1 T brown miso
1 T tahini
1/4 c rice wine
1/2 lemon (if you have it)
3/4 c canola or olive oil

For salad:
1 qt finely shredded kale
1/4 c sliced red onion
1/2 c sliced apple
1/2 c tomato chunks
1/4 c dried cranberries
1/2 c cooked quinoa (cooled)

Combine dressing ingredients in a blender and blend well. Mix together the salad ingredients and toss with dressing. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving, the dressing will tenderize the kale.

Grilled Tomatoes with Goat Cheese and Sage

Grilled Tomatoes with Goat Cheese and Sage

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage (about 1 ounce), divided
1/2 cup soft fresh goat cheese
2 teaspoons sliced green onions
1 shallot, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 medium tomatoes

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons fresh sage and fry 30 seconds. Using slotted spoon, transfer fried sage to paper towel.

Combine cheese, onions, shallot, salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon fresh sage in bowl. Season with pepper. Using small sharp knife, remove cone-shaped piece 2 inches wide and 1 inch deep from top of each tomato. Divide cheese mixture among tomatoes; top with fried sage.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Place tomatoes on grill rack; cover barbecue with lid. Cook until toma- toes are soft, about 5 minutes. Serve by themselves or on a pile of arugula.

Roasted Carrot and Tomato Soup with Basil

Roasted Carrot and Tomato Soup with Basil

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 pounds tomatoes, quartered (3 medium tomatoes)
1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 3/4 cups (about) low-fat (1%) milk
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Arrange onion, tomatoes, carrots and garlic cloves on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until vegetables are tender and brown, turning occasionally, about 55 minutes. Cool slightly. Peel garlic cloves. Transfer vegetables to large bowl (do not clean baking sheet).

Add 1 cup water to baking sheet, scraping up browned bits; add to blender, then add half of vegetables and puree until smooth. Transfer to large saucepan. Add remaining vegetables and 1 1/2 cups water to blender and puree. Transfer to same saucepan. Gradually add enough milk to soup to thin to desired consistency. Stir in 1/4 cup basil. Simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup basil and serve.

Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad

Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon English dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 large vine-ripened tomato, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 pound mozzarella cheese (preferrably fresh), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
6 to 8 large fresh basil leaves, sliced thin

In a small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. On a platter arrange tomato slices alternately with mozzarella and top with basil. Drizzle salad with vinaigrette.

Tomato Salad with Feta and Olives

Tomato Salad with Feta and Olives

5 large tomatoes (about 3 pounds), cored, sliced
1 red onion, halved, thinly sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 ounces feta cheese (about 1 generous cup), crumbled
1/3 cup brine-cured olives, preferably Kalamata (optional)

Overlap tomato and onion slices on large platter. Whisk oil, vinegar, parsley and garlic in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over salad. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour or cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours, basting occasionally with dressing. Sprinkle salad with cheese and garnish with olives, if desired.

Salsa de Jitomate (Cocida) Cooked Tomato Sauce

I wanted to share a recipe we enjoy from one of Diana Kennedy’s cookbooks. If you’re not familiar with her she is to Mexican cooking what Julia Childs was to French cooking. She treats tomatoes and peppers dif- ferently in some recipes. In the following recipe she roasts the tomatoes and toasts the chiles. To roast the tomatoes place them whole (don’t core them) in a foil-lined pan under a medium-high broiler. You want them to cook through which should take about 20 minutes, so put them far enough away from the heat that they don’t burn up right away. It’s o.k. if the skins get good and black. For toasting the chiles she suggests putting them on a comal, which is a mexican earthenware heating plate placed over a fire. I use a cast-iron griddle on the stovetop. Any heavy saute pan should work. Put the pan on medium-high heat and toast the chiles in the dry pan, turning them frequently until they’re blistered and softened.

Salsa de Jitomate (Cocida) Cooked Tomato Sauce

3 medium tomatoes, roasted
3 chiles serranos, toasted
1/4 onion, roughly chopped
1 small clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 Tbs. safflower oil
1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste

Blend the tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic to a fairly smooth sauce, it should have some texture. Leave the core and seeds in the tomatoes, they add extra body to the sauce. You may seed the serranos if you’d prefer a milder, but still hot sauce.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan, add the sauce and salt and cook over a medium flame for about 5 minutes until it has thickened and is well seasoned.

Use this sauce as an alternative to fresh salsas or as a enchilada or taco sauce. I like to add a little vinegar to mine since good fresh tomatoes tend to make it a little sweet for me.

Classic Red Tomato Salsa

Classic Red Tomato Salsa

3 large, very ripe tomatoes, cored and diced small
1/2 cup tomato juice
2 Red hot cherry peppers, seeded and minced (leave seeds in for more heat)
1 medium red onion, diced small
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup juice from
6 large limes
Salt

Mix all of the ingredients, including salt to taste, together in a medium bowl. Refrigerate the salsa in an airtight container to blend the flavors, at least 1 hour and up to 5 days.

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

2 Large ripe tomatoes, finely diced
1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
2 Red hot cherry peppers, finely diced
1/4 cup finely diced white onion
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
Salt
Juice of 1 lime or 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Combine the tomatoes with their juices, garlic, chiles, onion, cilantro, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a bowl. Add the lime juice and taste for salt. Let stand 20 minutes or so before serving. If you want to make it ahead of time wait until right before serving to add the cilantro.

Pasta and Fresh Tomato Sauce With Garlic and Basil

Pasta and Fresh Tomato Sauce

3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (we never peel and seed ours for something like this, why bother)
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt
1 pound pasta, penne, rigatoni and fusilli work well

Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and the garlic in a medium skillet over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes; increase the heat to medium-high and cook until any liquid given off by the tomatoes evaporates and the tomato pieces lose their shape to form a chunky sauce, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and salt to taste; cover to keep warm.

Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to the boiling water and stir to separate the noodles. Cook until the pasta is al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking water and drain pasta. Transfer the drained pasta back to the cooking pot. Add the reserved water, tomato sacue and remaining 1 tablespoon oil; toss well to combine, serve immediately.

Variations: In our house we make some variant of this dish at least once a week in the summer. When we have sweet corn we usually will cut the kernels off of 2 or 3 cobs and add them with the tomatoes to cook. Many times we will make this recipe and not cook the tomatoes at all, just add them to the oil and garlic and turn the pan off. We also always end a recipe like this with some sort of cheese, a fresh mozzarella is a good choice, but a nice paremesan is equally as good.

Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough
(makes 3 crusts)

1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 envelope instant yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
1 1/4 cups room temp. water
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tsp salt
Olive oil or nonstick spray for coating the bowl

Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room- temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
Combine the salt and half the flour in a deep bowl. Add the liquid ingredients and use a wooden spoon to combine. Add the remaining flour, stirring until a cohesive mass forms. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 7 to 8 minutes, using as little dusting flour as possible while kneading. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

When the dough is about ready place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 500° for at least 30 minutes. (I know this sounds crazy but it works. And when it’s 92° in your kitchen already, what do you have to lose? I don’t own a pizza stone but use 6” square unglazed 1/2” thick terra-cotta tiles I bought at Menard’s for 99¢ each, they work very well)

Divide the dough into three equal pieces, knead a bit and let rest for 10 minutes. To prepare the crust push it down in the middle and pull the edges out with your other hand. This can be tricky. The stickier the dough the better pizza it makes so go easy on the flour. Be careful not to press out all of the air. I get mine to about the size of a pie pan and then transfer it to a floured sheet of parchment on the back of a cookie sheet. Then I finish patting it out, add toppings and quickly but deftly slide it, parchment paper and all onto the tiles. Of course a pizza peel would work best for this. I use parchment because of the spelt flour, you may not need it with wheat. Keep a close eye on it at that high temperature. It’s usually done in about 7 or 8 minutes.

Salsa Mexicana Cruda

Salsa Mexicana Cruda

1 medium tomato
4 T. finely chopped white onion
2 T. cilantro, roughly chopped
1 serrano chile
1/8 t. salt
1/3 c. cold water

Chop the unskinned tomato and mix with the rest of the ingredients. This one is meant to be made right before you need it. Although I like it after it’s been in the fridge a couple of days too.