Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Feast and lots of greens!

I hope everyone got to spend some quality time with their dads this weekend! My dad is so special, he didn't just get a day, he got a whole weekend. Its obvious where I get my love of food from. We had quite a feast in my dad's honor. Saturday morning before heading out to my parent's house we had our regular Saturday pancakes.

These contained strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, along with toasted wheat germ and ground flax seeds. I also had a big yogurt bowl for lunch.

I swear there's yogurt under there. On top is a chopped peach, blueberries, dried cherries, coconut, slivered almonds, and banana chips.

For my dad's dinner I decided to make cod in hazelnut romesco sauce. This recipe called for halibut, but I substituted cod. Romesco is sort of like a tomato based pesto. It traditionally uses almonds, but this one had hazelnuts that I toasted and rubbed off their skins.

The hazelnuts are then pulsed with a broiled tomato, roasted red peppers, smoked paprika and cayenne. This is the base of the sauce to cook the fish in. Its smoky, slightly spicy, warm and earthy.

I served the fish with roasted garlic smashed potatoes and a green bean salad made with radishes, manchego, and prosciutto. Had to get some meat in there for my dad!

Dessert just had to be chocolate.

I used lots of chopped Green & Black's to make Martha Stewart's chocolate bread pudding. The chocolate was melted in milk and cream, whisked with egg yolks and a little sugar, and poured over pieces of challah bread.

It came out warm and gooey with a nice cinnamon flavor.

I served it with sweetened vanilla flavored whipped creme fraiche.

What could be better, really?

We woke up Sunday morning to do more eating! I came downstairs to find my mother whipping up a batch of homemade english muffins. And now you see where I get my affinity for making everything from scratch. Who else makes their own english muffins? These were also a Martha Stewart recipe. They came out great, but were a little on the salty side. We both agreed she should cut down on the salt on the next batch.

My dad made some greek omelettes to accompany them.

After moving some furniture (my dad's father's day request) we had yet another meal. I made this big salad with spinach, sliced nectarines, radishes, fennel, goat cheese, and pecans.

I also had half a grilled cheese sandwich and maybe a little more bread pudding...

So while we were spending quality time with my dad, we actually missed opening day of our CSA from Stillman's Farm. For those of you who don't know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, you buy a share in a local farm, and you get fresh, local fruits and vegetables all season. We did it last year from Stillman's and just loved it. It runs from now until October, and every Sunday we go pick up a huge bunch of produce that lasts us the week. Its amazing how much better fresh local produce tastes than the pale imitations you get at the grocery store.  And it really cuts down on our grocery bills, too.  We pay $350 for the season and usually I just end up supplementing our weekly supply with some fish and grains.

Because we couldn't pick up yesterday, our wonderful friend Seth got our loot from us. And what a loot it was! This early in the season, its mostly greens that are up - and strawberries!

We also got red and golden beets - our favorite! Derek and I are both huge beet fans.

To highlight this special product, I made a beet risotto using wheatberries in place of rice. And I used the whole beet plant - root to greens!  I added some creme fraiche to the dish to bump up the creaminess, mainly because I had some on hand, and also sprinkled parmesan on top for a salty kick.  But both are totally optional and omitting them will give you a delicious vegan dinner.

Wheatberry Risotto with Beets and Greens
1 large bunch of red or golden beets with greens
1 cup wheatberries
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 vidalia onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs EVOO
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup creme fraiche (optional)
grated parmesan for serving (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 425ยบ
  • Chop the greens off on the beet roots and set aside.  Wrap each beet in foil and set in roasting pan.  Roast in oven until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on size of beats.
  • Meanwhile, chop beet greens and stems and rinse well with cold water.  Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat vegetable broth over low heat.
  • In a large saute pan, heat EVOO over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until tender.  Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds.
  • Crank up heat to medium-high and add wheatberries to saute pan.  Cook for several minutes until slightly toasted.  
  • Pour wine into saute pan and cook until wine is absorbed.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low.  Pour 2 ladles of vegetable broth in wheatberries.  Cook until broth is absorbed, stirring frequently.
  • Continue adding broth until wheatberries are almost cooked and still slightly chewy.
  • Add beet greens and stems and cook until all liquid is absorbed and greens are wilted.
  • Remove beet roots from the oven and cool until cool enough to handle.  Remove skins by running beets under cold water.  Chop beets into 1 inch chunks.
  • Add beets to risotto, and stir until warmed through
  • Remove from heat and stir in creme fraiche, if using.
  • Serve with grated parmesan sprinkled on top, if using.
For lunch today I'll be eating the leftover cold risotto...with some spicy arugula!

No comments:

Post a Comment