Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This weeks recipe features arugula

 The recipients of the weekly vegie basket from us have been getting Arugula each week.  I am not sure if any of you know what to do with it, but it is very versatile.  I like it in  mixed green salad, potato salad and best of all on a sandwich with tomato and brie cheese.  Try this salad on for size.  It will give you an idea of how it tastes and how it can be used.


Arugula, Egg and Tomato Salad

1 bunch arugula
4 tomatoes
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 onion or 4-6 scallions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
6 Tbs. olive oil
4 Tbs. chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and spin excess moisture off the arugula. Cut tomatoes into 1 in. cubes. Peel and quarter eggs. Combine all ingredients and mix. Sauté in olive oil for only 5 seconds and toss with pasta, if desired. 

Did any of you try the corn cake with lavender last week?  I did and it was yummy.  I also made scones and added a few lavender flowers to butter to use on them.  It was delicious.  Don't over use the lavender, tho, as it has a very strong taste.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lavender Shortbreads

1 tablespoon dried lavender blossoms
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon raw sugar (you can also use granulated sugar)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
sugar for sprinkling on top

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt.  Set aside.
Grind 1 tablespoon lavender and 1 tablespoon sugar in a mortar and pestle.   In a large bowl  mix butter, ground lavender mixture, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar.  Cream on medium speed until  pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Gradually add the flour.  Mix on low speed until dough comes together.  The dough will be crumbly.  Continue to mix until it forms a ball.  Refrigerate 30 minutes.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Divide refrigerated dough into quarters.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough out to a 1/4-inch thickness.  Use a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter to cut cookies.  Use a fork to prick cookies.  Brush very lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.  Refrigerate cookies while oven preheats.
Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  When oven is preheated, bake cookies for 8 to 11 minutes, until just browned around the edges. Remove from oven and allow cooling on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Amy's Wedding Brunch Cake

My niece, Amy, is to be wed on Friday.  She is very lucky to have found a husband who is deserving of her.  Wedding brunch is to be held at my house on Saturday so of course the menu must consist of many and various fresh herbs and veg from Auntie's garden.  I have decided to do a lavender corn cake for 2 reasons.  Firstly, Amy often wears lavender oil and the scent of it will remind me of her for evermore.  Secondly, lavender seems like it should be part of every wedding.  The recipe is as follows....

Sweet Corn Cake with Blueberry Lavender Compote

For the cake

6 oz (12 TBSP) unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 oz. (1cup) unbleached flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/4 oz (1/2 cup) cornmeal
1 cup cooked fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten

For the Compote

1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp lavender
1 1/4 cup cooked fresh corn kernals
1 cup fresh blueberries

The cake

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter the sides and bottom of a 9X2" round cake pan.  Fit a circle of parchment in the bottom of the pan and butter that as well.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.  Whisk in the cornmeal; set aside.  

Puree the corn kernels in a food processor until smooth.  Strain the puree through a fine sieve, pressing with a rubber spatula to extract the liquid;  scrape any puree off the bottom of the sieve into the liquid and then discard the remaining solids.  Measure 1/4 cup of the strained corn liquid and transfer to a small bowl (discard any excess liquid).  Stir in the sour cream.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl.  On low speed, slowly pour in the beaten eggs, mixing until incorporated and stopping midway to scrape down the sides.  The mixture will be loose and curdled-looking.)

On low speed, add one-third of the flour mixture and mix until just blended.  Add one-third of the sour cream-corn mixture and mix until just blended.  Alternate adding the remaining flour and sour cream mixtures in two additions each.  Do not over mix.

Scrape the batter into the cake pan and spread it evenly with a spatula.  Bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed in the center, 30-35 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool for 10-15 minutes.  Run a knife areoun the edge of the pan and then gently invert the cake onto the rack, removing the pan.  Remove the parchment, turn the cake right side up onto the rack , and let cool completely.

Make the compote:

Combine the sugar and 2/3 cup water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until the sugar has dissolved completely.  Remove from the heat.  Add the lavender and stir to combine.  let infuse for 10 minutes, then strain the syrup into a small bowl and let cool.

When ready to serve the cake, stir the corn and blueberries into the syrup.  Cut the cake into wedges, and top each serving with about 3 TBSP of the mixture, letting most of the syrup drain off the spoon before sprinkling the blueberries and corn over the cake.

To Amy and Jean... we wish you both the happiest of ever afters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Garlic Scape Recipe

We sent out our first vegie baskets (CSA's) yesterday.  I am sure that I have a few people wondering what the curly things are in the bag.  They would be garlic scapes... the flower head of the garlic.  They can be used in place of garlic in a recipe or used as a vegetable in stir fry.  Roasted garlic scapes are delicious.  The recipe is as follows.

Roasted Garlic Scapes

  • oil
  • scapes
  • salt
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Farenheit. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with tin foil.
Trim off the woody bottom parts of each scape as well as the seed pods at the top.
Toss the remaining middle sections with oil and salt, and bake until tender and slightly browned, approximately 7 minutes.
Alternatively, grill the scapes in a grill basket, turning them from time to time.