Saturday, September 19, 2009
CSAs and Apples, Apples Everywhere
First, I know I've talked about Community Supported Agriculture before, but I think people often don't consider joining in the autumn season. Although I live in the coldest region of the U.S., there are still many wonderful winter crops, and farmer's still need reliable income, even when the days grow shorter. So, I encourage everyone to look into joining a local CSA. Many of my friends are members of more than one, for different things. It really is a fantastic way to support the farming you believe in, and eat food that's fresh.
This morning at Green City Market the booths were bursting with the most beautiful flood of russet, berry, rose, and every other way you can describe variations of red. Beside red, there are greens, golds and all kinds of combinations.
Because my eating-world now revolves around what is in abundance at the market, my wheels started turning, and I headed to my favorite sources for great recipes. I’ve included a few favorites, and will likely come up with more as the season progresses.
This is actually a perfect find from Vegetarian Times Magazine (February 2009). In integrates apples, with other early autumn super-stars.
Sweet Potato Salad with Apple and Avocado
1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 cup frozen corn
¼ cup unsalted hulled pumpkin seeds
1 medium red apple, diced (1 cup)
½ small onion, finely chopped (½ cup)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup lime juice
2 Tbs. olive oil
½ avocado, finely diced
Place sweet potatoes in large saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook 3 minutes. Add corn, and cook 1 to 2 minutes more, or until potatoes are tender. Drain in colander and rinse under cold water to cool. Drain well.
Toast pumpkin seeds in dry skillet over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes, or until seeds begin to pop. Transfer to plate, and cool.
Combine apple, onion, cilantro, and lime juice in large bowl. Stir in sweet potatoes, corn, and oil, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Stir in avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds just before serving.
This is so unusual, and perfect for a cook-out side dish, or can be served as a main dish. I love it because everyone, including non-veggies.
This recipe is also from Vegetarian Times, and is a great main dish. I’ve actually substituted Field Roast apple-sage sausages for the tempeh and it worked perfectly.
Sweet-and-Sour Red Cabbage with Apples and Tempeh
1 8-oz. pkg. tempeh
1½ Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
2 large sweet-tart apples, such as Gala, Idared, or Rome, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
2 lb. red cabbage, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced (8 cups)
½ cup sweet cider
¹⁄3 cup balsamic vinegar
3½ Tbs. dark brown sugar
1½ cups cooked chestnuts, chopped
Heat 1½ tsp. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh, and sauté 4 minutes, or until browned. Stir in soy sauce and ½ cup water. Simmer 5 minutes, or until liquid has absorbed, turning occasionally. Cool, and cut tempeh into small squares.
Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and onion, and sauté 12 minutes. Stir in cabbage, sweet cider, vinegar, and brown sugar. Reduce heat to medium, and partially cover skillet. Cook 25 minutes, or until cabbage is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in tempeh and chestnuts, and season with salt and pepper.
I’m a huge lover of soup. It’s easy, filling, and if you find a good one you can typically whip it up in no time. This one provides a great use for apples and is actually delicious paired with roasted veggies over polenta triangles.
Celery Apple Gazpacho
Makes 4 1-cup servings
3 cups chopped celery
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
½ cup day-old bread, pulled into chunks
1/4 cup blanched almonds, chopped
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
thinly sliced apples or even seeded red grapes for garnish
Place celery, apple, water, lemon juice, and salt in a blender until smooth. Keep in blender or pour in glass container and chill for an hour. Before serving, reblend, then strain through a sieve into glass bowl. Soak bread in strained soup 3 minutes. Rinse blender and pulse almonds until finely ground. Add soup with bread and blend. Then, with motor running, add oil in a slow stream, blending until emulsified.
Now for something sweet, I had to include a recipe for an apple galette. This is such a rustic, and beautiful piece of edible art. No one assumes you would make such a lovely-lovely primarily because you were too lazy to make a pie! I honestly think, the messier and more throw-together this is, the sexier! There are a million wonderful recipes for this in books and online. This is one I lifted forever ago and modified to be vegan. Give it a shot…it’s really yummy!
Makes 8 to 10 servings
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup Earth Balance, unsalted or 1 1/2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 Tbsp. ice water
1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ½ chunks or 1/2'” slices
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped into sugar (or 1/2 tsp. good quality vanilla)*
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1/4 cup apricot preserves
Blend flour and salt. Add butter and crumble with fingers until grainy, or place in food processor and blend until grainy. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and blend just until dough begins to clump. Continue adding ice water if dough seems too dry. You want it a little sticky. Form dough into ball, then flatten into circle about 5” in diameter and ½” high. Wrap dough in plastic wrap or wax paper and chill for an hour or freeze until ready to use.
Roll out dough between sheets of parchment paper to 1/8-inch-thick round, 14 inches in diameter. Remove top sheet then transfer, on bottom sheet to large unrimmed baking sheet. Chill 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 F. In a bowl, combine apples, 2 tablespoons sugar, vanilla seeds, and lemon peel. Spread preserves over crust, leaving 1 1/2-inch plain border. Arrange apple atop preserves. Using parchment as aid, fold plain crust border up over apples, pinching any cracks in crust. Brush crust with soy creamer. Sprinkle crust edges and apples with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake galette 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F and continue baking until crust starts to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Remove from oven. Slide long thin knife between parchment and galette. Let stand at least 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.
Not only is this recipe great to eat, but it makes your home smell amazing! So, make yourself some tea, cut a slice of this galette, and gaze out the window at the changes that are in the air! I adore autumn. If you have any great fall favorites, please do share!
*I have a glass container I keep full of suger and place my scraped vanilla bean pods in the sugar. I keep the lid tight and use this to sprinkle on cookies and cupcakes, to flavor tea and hot chocolate, and any other embelishing I can come up with. It's divine and would be perfect to sprikle on the galette crust. Just a thought!