This recipe was offered by one of our CSA members, Jamene. It's a variation on the more familiar basil pesto - this one uses red bell peppers. Jamene says this is great on steak salad with feta and croutons. I could even see it combined with steamed or roasted summer squash! -Jenny
2 red peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.In a dry pan over medium heat, toss and toast the walnuts and unpeeled garlic until fragrant and browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Pour onto a plate to cool, then peel the garlic.
3. Place roasted peppers, walnuts, garlic, oil, and salt into the food processor and pulse until mixture is uniform and smooth.
4.You may need to scrape down the bowl once during processing.
Jenny learned about this recipe from chef Paige Vandegrift, who based it on an Alice Waters recipe. She describes it as sweet, salty and lemony, and a great match for many foods, including roasted chicken. In addition to sweet potatoes, it has saffron, ginger and cumin. You can read the full recipe on Paige's website, For the Love of the Table.
red or green curry paste (green is a bit sweeter)
beef cut in small slivers, chicken meat, shrimp or baked tofu
fish sauce (it is made from anchovies and adds the salty flavor)
Coconut milk (Not the lite kinds...lite on flavor too)
optional, red chiles
veggies that work well, (at the least use peppers):
bell peppers are a must (red and green), cut into large pieces
onions, large slices
chopped squash or zucchini
First, start your rice. By the time it's finished, your meal will be ready.
The trick is to slowly, for just a few minutes, heat a few tablespoons of the curry paste in a a bit of oil in a pot until the oils begin to sizzle and separate (some people add a bit of cooking oil - ok to omit.)
Then add the fat from the can of coconut mile and simmer that for a few minutes.
Then add the rest of the can of coconut milk (one or two can work well), a tablespoon of brown sugar, a tablespoon or two of fish sauce.
Add the meat or tofu an cook until done (I usually add my tofu at the very end, after baking).
Add the veggies and cook for a mere ten minutes...don't over cook the veggies. I like them bright and still a little crisp.
If you add potatoes, you'll want to cook longer. Try not to let is get past a simmer.
Top it off with fresh basil and pepper slices just before you serve over the steamed rice.
The key is to heat this all very gently, allowing the fats to separate. Super fast, beautiful, and delicious every time!
If you want to knock your socks off with flavor, add some fresh kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass, but I hardly ever remember to buy those parts and it's still turns out great. -Jenny Buller
Stuffed Tomatoes with Parmesan, Garlic, and Basil
from: American Classics, by the editors of Cooks Illustrated Magazine (2002).
To make bread crumbs, grind any hunk of stale country, Italian, or French bread in the food processor.
6 large for, ripe tomatoes, 1/8 inch sliced off stem end, cored, and seeded.
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup coarse, homemade breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon plus 3 TBS olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup fresh basil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsps)
ground black pepper
1. Sprinkle the inside of each tomato with salt and place it upside down on several layers of paper towels; let stand to remove any excess moisture, about 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, toss the breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon olive oil, Parmesan, basil, garlic, and pepper to taste in a small bowl; set aside. Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position, and heat to 375 degrees; line the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with foil.
3. Roll up several sheets of paper towels and pat the inside of each tomato dry. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer in the baking dish. Brush the cut edges with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Mound the stuffing onto the tomatoes (about 1/4 cup per tomato); drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake until the tops are golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.