Roasted Beets ‘n’ Sweets

Roasted Beets ‘n’ Sweets

I was never served beets as a child, perhaps because it was one of the few foods my father refused to eat. Even as an adult, I am reluctant to eat beets; perhaps because they look so much like cranberry sauce, which is a favorite of mine, but their taste and texture is very different.  I like this recipe for Roasted Beets ‘n’ Sweets from Allrecipes for a number of reasons.  Not only does it make good use of this seasonal vegetable, and contains all of the beautiful purple and orange colors of autumn, but it also includes that  that superfood, Sweet Potatoes.  This recipe is also very versatile–it can be used to top a salad or makes a great side dish to serve at Thanksgiving. Stop by Colchester Neighborhood Farm today and pick up some freshly harvested beets.

 

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a bowl, toss the beets with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sugar in a large resealable plastic bag. Place the sweet potatoes and onion in the bag. Seal bag, and shake to coat vegetables with the oil mixture.
  4. Bake beets 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Mix sweet potato mixture with the beets on the baking sheet. Continue baking 45 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.
Buttercup Squash with Apples

Buttercup Squash with Apples

Now that the trees are bursting with color,  we can be assured that autumn is officially here.  And nothing smells or tastes better at this time of year than winter squashes baking in the oven.  This recipe kicks it up a notch and really brings out the fall flavors by adding in some apples. Courtesy of Betty Crocker, this side dish is as delicious as it is easy to make.  Using just a few ingredients,  you are going to question whether it should be served as a side dish or dessert!  Feel free to use the buttercup or acorn squash when making this recipe–either one will taste wonderful and both are available at Colchester Neighborhood Farm’s farm stand this week.

Ingredients

1 small buttercup or other winter squash (1 pound)

1/2 cup chopped tart cooking apple

2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons butter or margarine, softened SAVE $
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

Heat oven to 400°F. Cut squash in half; remove seeds and fibers. Place squash halves, cut side up, in ungreased baking dish, 11x7x1 1/2 inches. Mix remaining ingredients; spoon into squash halves.
Cover and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until squash is tender.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Pistachios

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Pistachios

 

If the cool, crisp days of fall and the brilliant colors of the changing leaves are conjuring up images of delicious comfort foods that fill the air with rich aromas, then look no further than this recipe that uses a staple autumn vegetable like acorn squash and  combines it with healthy ingredients like quinoa to make a side dish or even main dish that is delicious and filling.  And because it comes from Martha Stewart, you know it has to be good!

 

Ingredients

  • 4 small acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachios, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
  • Pinch red-pepper flakes
  1.  Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush squash with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down on 2 baking sheets until tender and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then fluff with a fork. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, parsley, feta, pistachios, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and vinegar. Season with salt and red-pepper flakes. Divide filling among squash.

 

Green Tomato Pie III

Green Tomato Pie III

Well, if you can make a mock apple pie using Ritz Crackers, then it doesn’t seem like a big stretch to bake up a similar pie using green tomatoes.  Once again, Allrecipes offered up this variation of a non-apple, apple pie and the reviews on it are very good.  So, if you haven’t gone apple picking yet but still want an apple pie or if you are just looking for a different way to cook up the green tomatoes, give this Green Tomato Pie III a try.  Warning, some people indicated that they used a little more flour than called for in the recipe to cut down on the wateriness. If you do try this recipe, please let us know if you liked it.

Ingredients

5 green tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2 cups white sugar

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie

Directions


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place diced green tomatoes and vinegar in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and flour. Sprinkle over tomatoes and toss to coat evenly.
  4. Pour into pie crust and cover with criss-cross lattice crust.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbly and crust is brown.
Grilled Apple Tossed Salad

Grilled Apple Tossed Salad

There is just so much to like about this salad from Taste of Home. Not only does it taste good, it’s good for you. And nearly all of the ingredients can purchased at Colchester Neighborhood Farm including the fresh lettuce, Red Russian Kale and Curly Kale for the greens, apples, raw honey, and Blue Cheese. So why not stop into Colchester Farm today and make this sweet and tasty salad tonight. Feel free to grill up some fresh chicken to add a little protein. 

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup white or regular balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha Asian hot chili sauce
  • 2 large apples, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 package (5 ounces) spring mix salad greens
  • 1 cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Directions

  • For dressing, whisk together first eight ingredients. In a bowl, toss apples with 1/4 cup dressing.
  • Place apple slices on a grill rack over medium heat; reserve dressing left in bowl. Grill apples, covered, until tender and lightly browned, 3-4 minutes per side, brushing with reserved marinade.
  • To serve, toss greens with remaining dressing. Top with grilled apples, walnuts and cheese.
Health Tip: Lighten this salad by leaving off the walnuts and blue cheese. You’ll save 150 calories per serving, but the grilled apples and homemade dressing will still make it taste as if it came from a restaurant.

Editor’s Note

To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

Eggplant Parmesan Bites with Marinara Dipping Sauce

Eggplant Parmesan Bites with Marinara Dipping Sauce

With the harvest yielding an abundance of vegetables such as Eggplant, we begin to search for different ways to cook these foods.  After skimming through several different recipes, the Eggplant Parmesan Bites from Just A Taste stood out among the most interesting and mouth watering. These bites provide all of the delicious flavor of eggplant parmesan without the “heavy work” of slicing the vegetable up into very, very thin slices. These bites are delicious served as an appetizer, snack, or even a light supper.

Eggplant Parmesan Bites with Marinara

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium eggplants (about 2 1/2 lbs total)
  • 2 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs (See Kelly’s Note)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought marinara sauce
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

NSTRUCTIONS

Peel the eggplants and dice them into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a large colander and toss them with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Let them drain in the colander over a bowl in the sink for 30 minutes to remove excess moisture.

Combine the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs with 2 tablespoons water. Place the flour in a third bowl. Bread the eggplant cubes in batches by coating them in the flour, then the eggs and then the cheesy breadcrumbs.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Add three inches of oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot set over medium heat and attach the deep-fry thermometer. Once the oil reaches 360ºF, add the breaded eggplant in batches, cooking them until they’re golden brown on all sides. Using a slotting spoon, transfer the eggplant to the paper towel-lined baking sheet and immediately season them with salt. Repeat the frying process with the remaining eggplant, returning the oil to 360ºF between each batch.

 

Garnish the eggplant bites with chopped fresh parsley and serve them with marinara sauce for dipping.

From the Author:

I prefer a mix of Italian-style Panko breadcrumbs and very fine Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs, which produces well-breaded eggplant with a crispy crunch.

Arugula and Kale Harvest Salad

Arugula and Kale Harvest Salad

Here is a great recipe that uses many of the fall veggies that are being harvested right now and combines them into a dish that is both healthy and delicious. This salad from Good Housekeeping uses some of those “super foods” (think avocado) that are being touted as the secret to good health and a slim waistline.  And because the dressing is home made and free of any the preservatives you find in the ones sold in grocery stores, this salad is perfect for serving for lunch or even a light supper.

Ingredients
Salad
8 c. arugula
2 c. kale
1 1/2 c. avocado
3/4 c. thinly sliced carrots
3/4 c. chopped cooked butternut squash
1/2 c. sliced apple
1/2 c. sliced bell pepper
2 oz. salami
1 c. croutons
Vinaigrette
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. lemon (or lime) juice
1 tbsp. vinegar (red wine, sherry, champagne, cider or white balsamic)
finely chopped small shallot (or garlic clove or green onion)

Directions

Make Salad:
In a large bowl, combine arugula, kale, avocado, carrots, butternut squash, apple, bell pepper, and salami.
Make Vinaigrette: 
  1. Whisk olive oil, Dijon, sugar, salt, and pepper with lemon juice, vinegar, and shallot. (Makes about 2/3 c.)
  2. Add just enough vinaigrette to salad to lightly coat, tossing. Garnish with croutons.

 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

As soon as the calendar turns to September, pumpkin season officially begins. Coffee shops immediately add pumpkin lattes back onto the menu. (I believe there was even a little controversy this year, when a few chain coffee brewers began offering the autumn treat at the end of August!) While most people only ever use pumpkins for decorating, this gourd really is capable of so much more. It can be used for everything from acting as a decorative vase and holding a floral display to filling the role of a serving bowl for dips or even soups. Making a batch of puree is as simple as cutting the gourd in half, roasting it, and then scooping out the flesh and pureeing it. A four pound pumpkin will yield about 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree which can be used in an endless number of delicious recipes.  One such recipe is Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins.  These delicious treats with their streusel topping are sure to impress, whether you serve them up for Brunch or as a dessert or snack for the family.

Ingredients

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour 18 muffin cups, or use paper liners.
  2. To make the filling: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until soft. Add egg, vanilla and brown sugar. Beat until smooth, then set aside.
  3. For the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Add butter and cut it in with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.
  4. For the muffin batter: In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and add eggs, pumpkin, olive oil and vanilla. Beat together until smooth.
  5. Place pumpkin mixture in muffin cups about 1/2 full. Then add one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture right in the middle of the batter. Try to keep cream cheese from touching the paper cup. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F (195 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.
Delicata Creamy Squash Soup

Delicata Creamy Squash Soup

September is here and that means temperatures will start to fall.  Warm soups should be on the menu to combat those cooler temperatures and there is just something so delicious and comforting about squash soup. With Colchester Neighborhood Farm harvesting wonderful delicata winter squash, this recipe for Delicata Creamy Squash Soup is sure to hit the spot on a cool autumn day. Add some grilled cheese sandwiches and you have all the makings of true comfort food!

Ingredients:

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Place the squash, cut sides down, in a baking dish. Add 1/8 inch water in baking dish, cover with foil and bake 35-40 minutes or until tender. Cool.

  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until onion is softened but not brown.
  2. Scrape the squash out of the flesh and add to onions. Add the stock and heavy cream. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.
  3. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Best Ever Zucchini Bread

Best Ever Zucchini Bread

This week’s suggested recipe uses up some of the delicious zucchini that has been harvested from Colchester Farm this season. We like this delicious treat from the website Butter With A Side Of Bread.  One of the best things about this recipe, is the option to substitute ingredients to make it a bit a more healthy.  And because the recipe yields two breads, this provides the opportunity to give one to a friend or neighbor. As the cooler fall days approach (and they will), baking up this bread will fill the home with the wonderful aromas of autumn.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar (you can omit this to cut down on the calories)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (you can substitute applesauce for 1/2 the oil)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups grated zucchini you can add a little more, I always do!
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Grease two 8 x 4 inch pans or 6 mini loaf plans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Assemble your ingredients. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, soda, nutmeg and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. {I always sneak in a few spoonfuls of flax!}
  4. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well.
  5. Grate zucchini. Stir into the mixture along with the nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. My mini-loaf pans take about 35-40 minutes. Large sized loaves take about 55 minutes. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool. Enjoy!
Blueberry Coffee Cake (AKA Blueberry Boy Bait)

Blueberry Coffee Cake (AKA Blueberry Boy Bait)

Well here is a delicious coffee cake that is sure to get accolades from family friends and friends. Its alias name of Boy Bait comes from a 15-year-old girl from Chicago named Renny Powell who, in 1954, submitted a blueberry coffee cake recipe to the Pillsbury $100,000 Recipe & Baking Contest (the precursor to today’s Pillsbury Bake-Off). Renny took second place in the junior division for her recipe, cleverly named “Boy Bait” for its habit-forming effect on young men. Try making this cake for your next Sunday Brunch get together or any Sunday morning, for that matter.
Ingredients

For the Streusel Topping

  • 6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

For the Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon packed lemon zest, from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries (frozen may be used but do not defrost)

Instructions

  1. Make the Streusel topping: Combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Using your fingers, mix until no lumps of brown sugar remain. Rub in the butter with your fingertips or cut it in with two knives or a pastry cutter until it reaches a crumbly state. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Grease a 9-inch square pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, beating on low speed to combine. Add the berries to the batter and fold gently with a spatula until evenly distributed. Do not over-mix.
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for about 20 minutes, then serve right from the pan.
  7. This cake is best served on the day it is made. Leftovers will keep well for a few days wrapped in foil and stored at room temperature.
No Bake Peach Pie

No Bake Peach Pie

We are so excited that Colchester Neighborhood Farm is selling freshly harvested peaches from Kimball Farm in Pepperell this week. While the fruit is delicious eaten just as is, it’s also yummy in a pie. But with the hazy, hot, and humid days of August upon us, we like this No Bake Peach Pie from Allrecipes–it’s simple and easy, and doesn’t require using the oven. We suggest serving this with a little whipped cream on top.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1/2 cup water

2/3 cup white sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon butter

6 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced

1 (9 inch) graham cracker pie crust
Instructions
  1. Stir together the water, sugar, cornstarch, and butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When the mixture has come to a boil, add a few slices of the peaches, then lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes until thick and smooth. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool completely.
  2. Place the remaining peach slices into the pie crust, and spread the sauce all over them, covering completely. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until firm before serving.
Balsamic Blueberry Grilled Cheese

Balsamic Blueberry Grilled Cheese

Take your grilled cheese sandwich to the next level with this wonderful variation of a traditional favorite. We like this recipe  from Amanda k. by the Bay because it uses fresh in-season blueberries and mozzarella (or even goat cheese), along with argula–all of which can be purchased at Colchester Neighborhood Farm.  Use the leftover blueberry syrup to make a blueberry lemonade, to round out the perfect summer lunch.

Balsamic Blueberry Grilled Cheese Sandwich
2 slices of bread (I used sourdough)
Plenty of white cheese (I used Havarti, but lots of different  cheeses would be good! Mozzarella, Monterey, Swiss, or Sharp White Cheddar would be yummy. I have been meaning to try goat cheese!)
Fresh spinach or arugala
1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbs. brown sugar
1. In a small saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar and vinegar. Turn on medium heat and let come to a slow boil. Use a utensil to crush berries as you stir. After boiling for about 5 minutes, pour mixture into a mesh strainer and let the juice syrup separate from the solid berries. Save the syrup for cocktails, pancakes or both!
2. Spread blueberries onto a piece of bread, top with cheese, some spinach, then more cheese! Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper. Top with your other slice of bread and toast. Enjoy!
Grilled Eggplant Provolone

Grilled Eggplant Provolone

It may feel a little too warm in the kitchen to be cooking up eggplant parmesan but the weather is just right for grilling this wonderful vegetable. This is probably one of the easiest, but equally delicious, recipes for cooking eggplant. Kudos to RealSimple for coming up with this idea. Feel free to swap out the grilled salsa for marina sauce.

How to Make It

Step 1

Whisk together the vinegar, oil, and oregano and brush on the cut sides of the eggplants. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Preheat a gas grill to high; adjust the heat to medium after 15 minutes. (If cooking over charcoal, allow the coals to burn until they are covered with gray ash.) Grill the eggplants cut-side down until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the eggplants and top each half with a slice of provolone. Grill 3 minutes more or until the cheese is bubbly. Top with some Grilled Salsa.

Rainy-day method: Prepare the eggplants as described above. Heat the broiler and cook the eggplants about 6 inches from the heat, cut-side down, for 5 minutes. Turn and broil cut-side up for about 3 minutes. Add the provolone and broil about 3 minutes more

Easy and Cool Summer Salad

Easy and Cool Summer Salad

With temperatures hovering well into the 80s and the dew point inching toward the 70s, nobody wants to cook on the grill or the stove, for that matter.  These are the days when cool summer salads really hit the spot and nothing tastes better than a salad made with veggies picked right from the garden. Fortunately, all of the main ingredients in this salad from Allrecipes can be purchased at Colchester Neighborhood Farm, which has plenty of freshly harvested zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers for sale.

Cucumber Tomato Salad with Zucchini and Black Olives in Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients