Grilled Herb Potatoes in Foil Jackets

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Grilled Herb Potatoes in Foil Jackets by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Since a lovely bit of Indian summer is blowing through this weekend, I thought I'd share this simple recipe for grilled potatoes that comes via my friend, Meadow who got the idea from our mutual friend, Willow (yes, these are Woodstock names :)), who makes them in lots of different flavor combinations.

Herbs & potatoes to make Grilled Herb Potatoes in Foil Jackets by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

I love the simplicity, the mix of aromatic and hearty flavors and the texture - soft but not at all mushy or grainy - of these potatoes. For this batch, I made a simple herb butter using basil, oregano and parsley, salt and pepper but don't let that hem you in. The possibilities are nearly endless.

If you have pesto on hand, use that! Or smash some garlic into the salted butter and herbs with or without a bit of lemon and some grated white pepper. Or some thinly sliced onions with a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Or olive oil, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Really, there are a whole lot of ways these would taste delicious.

Fresh potatoes from our plants and our CSA by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

In addition to a beautiful purple potato from our CSA, I used some of the Yukon Golds that we grew this summer. I bought 4-5 organic Yukon Golds from the healthfood store and let them sprout. When the eyes were literally on stalks, I cut the taters up into pieces - each with at least one eye in it - and planted them in a few inches of good dirt in these black plastic tubs we bought a few years ago to use for container gardening on our deck. When the plants had sprouted far enough, we buried the stems in dirt again, then repeated the process a third time when they'd grown tall enough.

Adding another layer of dirt to the potatoes by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

If we'd had a taller container, we could've kept on going. It was so easy and the harvesting was so incredibly fun. Now we have two paper grocery bags full of potatoes in a dark, cool spot in our pantry. This makes me very happy. Next spring we plan to build a true potato tower out of wood so that we can significantly increase our haul.


I rinsed the potatoes and took a moment to admire them. I love potatoes...  Then I sliced them almost all the way to the bottom and all the way through in some cases where I was not super careful - it doesn't really matter if you slice all the way through, it just makes it a little harder to hold them together.

Sliced potatoes awaiting herb butter before going on the grill by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

I'd picked some herbs from our garden - oregano, basil and parsley and chopped those up to add to the butter. Then I added the chopped herbs to the butter along with a generous dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper and mixed it all together.

Herb Butter for the Potatoes in Foil Jackets by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Next I spread the herb butter on the potatoes, making sure that each slice got a generous helping.

Smearing Herb Butter on the Potato for Grilled Herb Potatoes in Foil Jackets by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Then I wrapped the potatoes up in their little jackets and put them on the grill to cook.

Wrapping up the Herb Buttered Potato in Tin Foil by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Then I got the rest of the grillables ready to put on the grill since they did not take nearly as long to cook as the spuds.

Herb Potatoes in Foil Jackets on the Grill by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

About 20 minutes later, I took them off and we dug in. Each bite contained fresh, aromatic herbs and soft, buttery, slightly sweet potato. Heaven...

Grilled Herb Potatoes in Foil Jackets by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

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Red Kuri Squash with Indian Spices

Monday, September 22, 2014

Kuri Squash with Indian Spices by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

We received a big, beautiful red kuri squash in our CSA share last week. Kuris have sweet meat and a mild, slightly nutty flavor. You might know them by one of their other names like orange hokkaido, baby red hubbard or Japanese squash.

Kuri Squash by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

I decided to take this one in an Indian direction, pairing its sweet, mellow flavor with a little heat and lots of exotic spices - jalapeno, ginger, garlic, cumin, onions and good old garam masala.

Seasonings for Kuri Squash with Indian Spices by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

I began by cutting it open. Actually, my husband offered to cut it open for me which was nice since it allowed me to take a photo. It turned out not to be super hard, unlike some kabocha squashes which practically require a hacksaw.

Kuri Squash by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Then I cleaned both halves, scooping out the goopy innards and seeds and putting them in the compost. I had second thoughts about wasting the seeds so I actually dug them out of the compost and cleaned them and roasted them but, sadly, they were not very good - the husks were just too tough for enjoyable eating so I would not recommend going to the trouble with this variety of squash. Delicata, acorn and pumpkin, on the other hand are well worth the extra effort as those seeds make a delicious and very nutritious snack.

Kuri Squash by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Then I placed them cut-side down in an inch or two of water and baked them until the skin got all wrinkled and was soft to the touch. I let them cool down then scooped out the flesh and set it aside.

Baked Kuri Squash by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Meanwhile, I toasted some cumin seeds and then sauteed the onions, garlic, jalapeno and other spices.

Kuri Squash with Indian Spices by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Then I mashed the squash and mixed the onion and spice mixture into it. Topped it with fresh cilantro and served it with a lentil salad and brown rice. It was delicious and tasted even better the next day after the flavors had more time to meld.

Kuri Squash with Indian Spices by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

-- print recipe --Red Kuri Squash with Indian Spices
Serves 4

Ingredients

* 1 medium to large red kuri squash
* 1 medium onion or 2-3 shallots, peeled and chopped
* 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
* 1/4 chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* 1/4 jalapeno, seeds removed, finely chopped (I am quite wimpy when it comes to spicy food but feel free to use more if you like it hot or leave it out altogether if you're not a fan)
* 1 tsp cumin seeds
* 1 Tbsp garam masala
* 1 Tbsp curry powder
* 1 tsp sea salt
* 2 Tbsps coconut or safflower oil
* 1/4-1/2 cup water

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and strings (I use a grapefruit spoon for this task - the little teeth work great!) then place the squash halves, cut-side down, in a baking dish or on a baking sheet and add the water to the tray - you want it to cover the entire tray up to about 1/4 inch. Bake the squash for 45-60 minutes, until the skin gets wrinkled and the flesh is soft to the touch. Remove and let sit until cool enough to handle then flip them over and scoop out the cooked flesh and set it aside.

2. While the squash is baking, heat the oil in a large pan and toast the cumin seeds over high heat for a minute then turn the heat down to medium and add the onions. Saute the onions, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften then add the garlic, jalapeno, garam masala and curry powder and and saute for another 2-3 minutes (keep stirring!)

3. Mash the squash roughly and add it to the pan along with the salt and stir well to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the squash is heated through. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. When you're satisfied with the balance of flavors serve, topped with the chopped cilantro.

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Melted Cheese with Fig Preserves, Pear & Ham

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Melts with fig preserves, Asian pear, ham and cheddar cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

So here we are again. Fall. I swing back and forth between mourning the loss of summer's warmth and light and openness and thrilling to that crisp nip in the air, the vividness of sky's blue and the splashes of bold color that are creeping into the edges of every frame.

Autumn creeping in by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

But I'm unequivocally happy that the drop in temperature and shorter days makes me want to turn on the oven, fire up the stove, whip up a batch of this and simmer a pot of that. And it's not just dinners, I'm also feeling a bit more inspired about lunches, too. Hence these divine melts I made for lunch today.

Melts with fig preserves, Asian pear, ham and cheddar cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

I found this jar of fig preserves in my pantry last week, hiding behind a tower of our pickle relish, and have been using it non-stop ever since. It is the perfect foil to any kind of cheese - be it sharp, creamy, moldy, or goaty, it's all good!

Melts with fig preserves, Asian pear, ham and cheddar cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

And the Asian pears that Migliorelli Farm was selling at the Woodstock Farm Festival this week were too pretty to pass up.

Melts with fig preserves, Asian pear, ham and cheddar cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

So I decided to pair the fig preserves with sharp cheddar cheese, very thinly sliced Asian pear and a little organic ham and put it all in the toaster to get bubbly and browned and crisp around the edges.

Melts with fig preserves, Asian pear, ham and cheddar cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

The combination is sooooo good! Each bite contains just the right amount of sweet and savory and gooey and crunchy. I ate mine with this remarkable purple carrot which tasted as good as it looked.

Melts with fig preserves, Asian pear, ham and cheddar cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

This is a melt so I'm not going to insult your intelligence by sharing a real recipe - just slice your bread, smear it with fig preserves, lay down the ham (optional, of course), layer on the cheese and top with the sliced pear - apple would be good, too. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toast or bake at 400 degrees until it meets your criteria for doneness.

Melts with fig preserves, Asian pear, ham and cheddar cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Just a note to all you vegetarians, the combination would also be good without the ham lest you're intrigued.

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Roasted Garlic - Easy, Mellow & Delicious

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A head of roasted garlic by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Roasting garlic turns it a soft, mellow delicacy with a delightful flavor that is sweet and rich at the same time. It's a great addition to soups and stews, hummus, pizza and salad dressing, as well as smeared on crackers or toast with a good, salty cheese.

This is one of those things that seems like it should be hard to make but is actually ridiculously easy - all you need is a head of garlic, a sheet of tinfoil and a little olive oil. And an oven, of course...

Everything you need to make roasted garlic by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Here's what you do. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Get out your cutting board and a whole head of garlic.

A head of garlic by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Slice a thin layer off the bottom of the head - right next to the basal plate - to expose the bottoms of the cloves.

Cutting the bottom off the head of garlic by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Get out a sheet of tinfoil. Drizzle a little organic olive oil over the cut end of the garlic.

Drizzling the garlic with olive oil by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Wrap the head of garlic up in the foil - it will look like a lumpy little silver ball. Place your foil-wrapped garlic in the oven - I usually put it on a baking sheet just in case of any leakage - and roast it for 45 minutes.

Head of garlic wrapped in tin foil by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

During this time, the most delicious smell will pervade every corner of your home. I think this smell would probably make me hungry even if I'd just pushed back from the table at a three-course meal. Take a peek into that little foil ball to see how things are going -- you want to roast it until the cloves have gotten all soft and melty. It will be a thing of beauty!

Roasted garlic by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

You can then very easily just squeeze the cloves right out of their papery little wrappers to use however you see fit. If I'm not going to use them all in one fell swoop, I just wrap whatever I'm not using then back up in its tinfoil wrapper and store it in the fridge for several days (if it lasts that long without you eating it, that is.) I've also heard that you can remove the cloves, cover them in olive oil and store them in a clean, airtight glass container in the refrigerator for several months but I have not actually done this (I always end up using it all up too quickly) so I cannot vouch for how long it stays good for.

A quick aside for those of you who garden or who would like to start, it's almost time to plant your garlic! Start it in the fall to help it get established so it comes roaring back come springtime. Check out my short primer on growing your own garlic for more info.

Garlic Drying On Outdoor Table by Eve Fox copyright 2008

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Twenty Tomato Recipes You'll Love

Thursday, September 11, 2014

20 Tomato Recipes You'll Love by Eve Fox, The Garden Of Eating, copyright 2014

Whether you're struggling to keep up with your garden's mad rush to the finish or just looking for new ways to enjoy the beautiful, late summer tomatoes at the farmers' market, a little inspiration is a fine thing. I've compiled 20 delicious ways to use tomatoes for you below, dividing them into 13 things to eat right now and 7 preserving ideas to help you hold on to the glory of sun-ripened tomatoes into the cold winter months ahead.

For Right Now

Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter
This sauce from Marcella Hazan couldn't get much simpler - just onions, butter and tomatoes - but the result is amazingly good - smooth and rich with a mellow sweetness from all the onions. Give it a try and you'll probably find that you end up making it once a week.


Tomato Tart Two Ways
Inspired by a recipe in one of the Canal House Cooking books, these impressively fancy-looking tarts are made very simple by the use of frozen puff pastry (though feel free to make your own pastry, by all means!) Sweet ripe tomatoes, good cheese, caramelized onions and herbs make these tarts a decadent treat.



Grilled Tomato and Eggplant Stacks with Basil and Feta Cheese

These leaning Tower of Pisa-esque delights are an easy way to make the most of summer's bounty. Grilled eggplant and tomato slices are drizzled with olive oil, layered with sliced basil and feta (or goat) cheese, seasoned with salt and pepper and stacked for layers of melting-gooey-sweet-savory-herby yumminess.


Pasta with Tomatoes, Sweet Corn, Basil, Bacon & Arugula
This is an easy late summer/early fall meal packed with great flavors and with a nice mix of textures - crunchy corn, juicy tomatoes, crispy bacon and just tender pasta.


Chicken Milanese on a Bed of Arugula & Tomatoes
Sweet tomatoes and peppery arugula provide a perfect backdrop for crunchy, salty, juicy breaded chicken. Hard to beat.


Tomato Corn Pie with Butter-Brushed Biscuit Topping
Like everything Deb at Smitten Kitchen makes, this pie is heart-stoppingly (and probably artery-cloggingly) delicious. Biscuit topping, sweet corn, tomatoes and cheddar cheese make for serious summer comfort food.


Proven癟al Vegetable Tian
Baking concentrates the flavors and natural sweetness of layered, very thin slices of tomato, potato, eggplant,summer squash, and leeks. White wine, thyme and garlic add the delicious taste of the south of France.


Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Gratin
This is basically a healthier, lighter and actually tastier take on eggplant parm that comes from Martha Rose Shulman's excellent Recipes for Health series in the New York Times. Packed with flavors, very hearty and satisfying.


Heirloom Tomato Sauce with Italian Sausage & Basil
A super tasty sauce filled with fresh herbs, sausage and, of course, tomatoes. Due to the inclusion of meat, either eat this one right away or freeze it for later.


Chopped Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Herbs & Feta
This simple salad is so flavorful, flesh and flexible that it's become one of my favorites. Also a perfect way to make use of summer's last cucumbers, tomatoes and fresh herbs.


Sweet Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad
My mom-in-law makes this often and I find it positively addictive! Sweet, fresh, flavorful and very, very easy... (a great way to make use of leftover corn on the cob, too.)

Ni癟oise Salad
This hearty and beautiful composed salad is one of my very favorite things in the world. So many good tastes in one bowl and healthy and fresh to boot.


Garden Salad
Ripe tomatoes are so good in salad. Don't overlook this easy way of highlighting them! Add some ripe cucumber for crunch and a little cheese for substance and dress with your favorite vinegar and some good quality organic olive oil with a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.


For Now and Later

Rustic Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic & Herbs
This is my new favorite way to prepare big, juicy tomatoes. Just cut in half, toss with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, whatever herbs you have on hand and some sliced garlic and roast for two hours on low. The result is a sweet, gooey, flavor-packed mess of summer flavors that you can toss with pasta or freeze to use in sauces and stews this winter.


Heirloom Tomato Salsa
Once you've made your own salsa, it's pretty hard to go back to store-bought. Although you can just make this as a one-time treat, I recommend making a big batch and canning some to use throughout the year -- soooooo good!


Pickled Green Tomatoes
If frost threatens, you can still pick your tomatoes green and make some tasty pickles out of them. This recipes comes from Marisa at the incomparable Food In Jars - check her and her cookbooks out if you're into canning and preserving.


Tomato Jam
You might not think of tomatoes and jam in the same breath but you really should... Sweet, spicy (think ginger, cloves, chili flakes and more) and simply amazing when combined with goat cheese and any kind of bread product. Hands down the best jam I've ever made. Make a batch - they make great gifts.


Spicy-Sweet Barbecue Sauce
It's actually pretty easy to make your own BBQ sauce and the result is so good! Sweet and spicy with deep flavors that make anything from tofu to a T-bone taste delicious.


Slow, Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
Ripe tomatoes (you can use any size or type) combined with a few minutes of prep time and roughly 8-10 hours of slow cooking in a low heat oven yield the most divine concentrated dried tomatoes you'll ever eat. Add some herbs, balsamic vinegar and/or garlic for an even more ecstatic eating experience. You can eat them right away (great on bread, in salads, as a basis for sauce and more), pack a jar for the fridge or freeze them in bags or jars to enjoy all year-long.

Simple Pasta Sauce with Garlic & Herbs
Nothing captures the flavors of summer like homemade pasta sauce. You can eat this simple sauce right away or can or freeze some for the colder months ahead. You'll thank yourself during the dark days of winter when you're able to grab one of these magical jars of  sweet summer flavors to make an easy dinner special...


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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Grilled Herb Potatoes in Foil Jackets

Grilled Herb Potatoes in Foil Jackets by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Since a lovely bit of Indian summer is blowing through this weekend, I thought I'd share this simple recipe for grilled potatoes that comes via my friend, Meadow who got the idea from our mutual friend, Willow (yes, these are Woodstock names :)), who makes them in lots of different flavor combinations.

Herbs & potatoes to make Grilled Herb Potatoes in Foil Jackets by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

I love the simplicity, the mix of aromatic and hearty flavors and the texture - soft but not at all mushy or grainy - of these potatoes. For this batch, I made a simple herb butter using basil, oregano and parsley, salt and pepper but don't let that hem you in. The possibilities are nearly endless.

If you have pesto on hand, use that! Or smash some garlic into the salted butter and herbs with or without a bit of lemon and some grated white pepper. Or some thinly sliced onions with a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Or olive oil, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Really, there are a whole lot of ways these would taste delicious.

Fresh potatoes from our plants and our CSA by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

In addition to a beautiful purple potato from our CSA, I used some of the Yukon Golds that we grew this summer. I bought 4-5 organic Yukon Golds from the healthfood store and let them sprout. When the eyes were literally on stalks, I cut the taters up into pieces - each with at least one eye in it - and planted them in a few inches of good dirt in these black plastic tubs we bought a few years ago to use for container gardening on our deck. When the plants had sprouted far enough, we buried the stems in dirt again, then repeated the process a third time when they'd grown tall enough.

Adding another layer of dirt to the potatoes by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

If we'd had a taller container, we could've kept on going. It was so easy and the harvesting was so incredibly fun. Now we have two paper grocery bags full of potatoes in a dark, cool spot in our pantry. This makes me very happy. Next spring we plan to build a true potato tower out of wood so that we can significantly increase our haul.


I rinsed the potatoes and took a moment to admire them. I love potatoes...  Then I sliced them almost all the way to the bottom and all the way through in some cases where I was not super careful - it doesn't really matter if you slice all the way through, it just makes it a little harder to hold them together.

Sliced potatoes awaiting herb butter before going on the grill by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

I'd picked some herbs from our garden - oregano, basil and parsley and chopped those up to add to the butter. Then I added the chopped herbs to the butter along with a generous dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper and mixed it all together.

Herb Butter for the Potatoes in Foil Jackets by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Next I spread the herb butter on the potatoes, making sure that each slice got a generous helping.

Smearing Herb Butter on the Potato for Grilled Herb Potatoes in Foil Jackets by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Then I wrapped the potatoes up in their little jackets and put them on the grill to cook.

Wrapping up the Herb Buttered Potato in Tin Foil by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Then I got the rest of the grillables ready to put on the grill since they did not take nearly as long to cook as the spuds.

Herb Potatoes in Foil Jackets on the Grill by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

About 20 minutes later, I took them off and we dug in. Each bite contained fresh, aromatic herbs and soft, buttery, slightly sweet potato. Heaven...

Grilled Herb Potatoes in Foil Jackets by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Red Kuri Squash with Indian Spices

Kuri Squash with Indian Spices by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

We received a big, beautiful red kuri squash in our CSA share last week. Kuris have sweet meat and a mild, slightly nutty flavor. You might know them by one of their other names like orange hokkaido, baby red hubbard or Japanese squash.

Kuri Squash by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

I decided to take this one in an Indian direction, pairing its sweet, mellow flavor with a little heat and lots of exotic spices - jalapeno, ginger, garlic, cumin, onions and good old garam masala.

Seasonings for Kuri Squash with Indian Spices by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

I began by cutting it open. Actually, my husband offered to cut it open for me which was nice since it allowed me to take a photo. It turned out not to be super hard, unlike some kabocha squashes which practically require a hacksaw.

Kuri Squash by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Then I cleaned both halves, scooping out the goopy innards and seeds and putting them in the compost. I had second thoughts about wasting the seeds so I actually dug them out of the compost and cleaned them and roasted them but, sadly, they were not very good - the husks were just too tough for enjoyable eating so I would not recommend going to the trouble with this variety of squash. Delicata, acorn and pumpkin, on the other hand are well worth the extra effort as those seeds make a delicious and very nutritious snack.

Kuri Squash by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Then I placed them cut-side down in an inch or two of water and baked them until the skin got all wrinkled and was soft to the touch. I let them cool down then scooped out the flesh and set it aside.

Baked Kuri Squash by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Meanwhile, I toasted some cumin seeds and then sauteed the onions, garlic, jalapeno and other spices.

Kuri Squash with Indian Spices by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Then I mashed the squash and mixed the onion and spice mixture into it. Topped it with fresh cilantro and served it with a lentil salad and brown rice. It was delicious and tasted even better the next day after the flavors had more time to meld.

Kuri Squash with Indian Spices by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

-- print recipe --Red Kuri Squash with Indian Spices
Serves 4

Ingredients

* 1 medium to large red kuri squash
* 1 medium onion or 2-3 shallots, peeled and chopped
* 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
* 1/4 chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* 1/4 jalapeno, seeds removed, finely chopped (I am quite wimpy when it comes to spicy food but feel free to use more if you like it hot or leave it out altogether if you're not a fan)
* 1 tsp cumin seeds
* 1 Tbsp garam masala
* 1 Tbsp curry powder
* 1 tsp sea salt
* 2 Tbsps coconut or safflower oil
* 1/4-1/2 cup water

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and strings (I use a grapefruit spoon for this task - the little teeth work great!) then place the squash halves, cut-side down, in a baking dish or on a baking sheet and add the water to the tray - you want it to cover the entire tray up to about 1/4 inch. Bake the squash for 45-60 minutes, until the skin gets wrinkled and the flesh is soft to the touch. Remove and let sit until cool enough to handle then flip them over and scoop out the cooked flesh and set it aside.

2. While the squash is baking, heat the oil in a large pan and toast the cumin seeds over high heat for a minute then turn the heat down to medium and add the onions. Saute the onions, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften then add the garlic, jalapeno, garam masala and curry powder and and saute for another 2-3 minutes (keep stirring!)

3. Mash the squash roughly and add it to the pan along with the salt and stir well to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the squash is heated through. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. When you're satisfied with the balance of flavors serve, topped with the chopped cilantro.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Melted Cheese with Fig Preserves, Pear & Ham

Melts with fig preserves, Asian pear, ham and cheddar cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

So here we are again. Fall. I swing back and forth between mourning the loss of summer's warmth and light and openness and thrilling to that crisp nip in the air, the vividness of sky's blue and the splashes of bold color that are creeping into the edges of every frame.

Autumn creeping in by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

But I'm unequivocally happy that the drop in temperature and shorter days makes me want to turn on the oven, fire up the stove, whip up a batch of this and simmer a pot of that. And it's not just dinners, I'm also feeling a bit more inspired about lunches, too. Hence these divine melts I made for lunch today.

Melts with fig preserves, Asian pear, ham and cheddar cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

I found this jar of fig preserves in my pantry last week, hiding behind a tower of our pickle relish, and have been using it non-stop ever since. It is the perfect foil to any kind of cheese - be it sharp, creamy, moldy, or goaty, it's all good!

Melts with fig preserves, Asian pear, ham and cheddar cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

And the Asian pears that Migliorelli Farm was selling at the Woodstock Farm Festival this week were too pretty to pass up.

Melts with fig preserves, Asian pear, ham and cheddar cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

So I decided to pair the fig preserves with sharp cheddar cheese, very thinly sliced Asian pear and a little organic ham and put it all in the toaster to get bubbly and browned and crisp around the edges.

Melts with fig preserves, Asian pear, ham and cheddar cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

The combination is sooooo good! Each bite contains just the right amount of sweet and savory and gooey and crunchy. I ate mine with this remarkable purple carrot which tasted as good as it looked.

Melts with fig preserves, Asian pear, ham and cheddar cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

This is a melt so I'm not going to insult your intelligence by sharing a real recipe - just slice your bread, smear it with fig preserves, lay down the ham (optional, of course), layer on the cheese and top with the sliced pear - apple would be good, too. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toast or bake at 400 degrees until it meets your criteria for doneness.

Melts with fig preserves, Asian pear, ham and cheddar cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Just a note to all you vegetarians, the combination would also be good without the ham lest you're intrigued.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Roasted Garlic - Easy, Mellow & Delicious

A head of roasted garlic by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Roasting garlic turns it a soft, mellow delicacy with a delightful flavor that is sweet and rich at the same time. It's a great addition to soups and stews, hummus, pizza and salad dressing, as well as smeared on crackers or toast with a good, salty cheese.

This is one of those things that seems like it should be hard to make but is actually ridiculously easy - all you need is a head of garlic, a sheet of tinfoil and a little olive oil. And an oven, of course...

Everything you need to make roasted garlic by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Here's what you do. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Get out your cutting board and a whole head of garlic.

A head of garlic by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Slice a thin layer off the bottom of the head - right next to the basal plate - to expose the bottoms of the cloves.

Cutting the bottom off the head of garlic by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Get out a sheet of tinfoil. Drizzle a little organic olive oil over the cut end of the garlic.

Drizzling the garlic with olive oil by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Wrap the head of garlic up in the foil - it will look like a lumpy little silver ball. Place your foil-wrapped garlic in the oven - I usually put it on a baking sheet just in case of any leakage - and roast it for 45 minutes.

Head of garlic wrapped in tin foil by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

During this time, the most delicious smell will pervade every corner of your home. I think this smell would probably make me hungry even if I'd just pushed back from the table at a three-course meal. Take a peek into that little foil ball to see how things are going -- you want to roast it until the cloves have gotten all soft and melty. It will be a thing of beauty!

Roasted garlic by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

You can then very easily just squeeze the cloves right out of their papery little wrappers to use however you see fit. If I'm not going to use them all in one fell swoop, I just wrap whatever I'm not using then back up in its tinfoil wrapper and store it in the fridge for several days (if it lasts that long without you eating it, that is.) I've also heard that you can remove the cloves, cover them in olive oil and store them in a clean, airtight glass container in the refrigerator for several months but I have not actually done this (I always end up using it all up too quickly) so I cannot vouch for how long it stays good for.

A quick aside for those of you who garden or who would like to start, it's almost time to plant your garlic! Start it in the fall to help it get established so it comes roaring back come springtime. Check out my short primer on growing your own garlic for more info.

Garlic Drying On Outdoor Table by Eve Fox copyright 2008

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Twenty Tomato Recipes You'll Love

20 Tomato Recipes You'll Love by Eve Fox, The Garden Of Eating, copyright 2014

Whether you're struggling to keep up with your garden's mad rush to the finish or just looking for new ways to enjoy the beautiful, late summer tomatoes at the farmers' market, a little inspiration is a fine thing. I've compiled 20 delicious ways to use tomatoes for you below, dividing them into 13 things to eat right now and 7 preserving ideas to help you hold on to the glory of sun-ripened tomatoes into the cold winter months ahead.

For Right Now

Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter
This sauce from Marcella Hazan couldn't get much simpler - just onions, butter and tomatoes - but the result is amazingly good - smooth and rich with a mellow sweetness from all the onions. Give it a try and you'll probably find that you end up making it once a week.


Tomato Tart Two Ways
Inspired by a recipe in one of the Canal House Cooking books, these impressively fancy-looking tarts are made very simple by the use of frozen puff pastry (though feel free to make your own pastry, by all means!) Sweet ripe tomatoes, good cheese, caramelized onions and herbs make these tarts a decadent treat.



Grilled Tomato and Eggplant Stacks with Basil and Feta Cheese

These leaning Tower of Pisa-esque delights are an easy way to make the most of summer's bounty. Grilled eggplant and tomato slices are drizzled with olive oil, layered with sliced basil and feta (or goat) cheese, seasoned with salt and pepper and stacked for layers of melting-gooey-sweet-savory-herby yumminess.


Pasta with Tomatoes, Sweet Corn, Basil, Bacon & Arugula
This is an easy late summer/early fall meal packed with great flavors and with a nice mix of textures - crunchy corn, juicy tomatoes, crispy bacon and just tender pasta.


Chicken Milanese on a Bed of Arugula & Tomatoes
Sweet tomatoes and peppery arugula provide a perfect backdrop for crunchy, salty, juicy breaded chicken. Hard to beat.


Tomato Corn Pie with Butter-Brushed Biscuit Topping
Like everything Deb at Smitten Kitchen makes, this pie is heart-stoppingly (and probably artery-cloggingly) delicious. Biscuit topping, sweet corn, tomatoes and cheddar cheese make for serious summer comfort food.


Proven癟al Vegetable Tian
Baking concentrates the flavors and natural sweetness of layered, very thin slices of tomato, potato, eggplant,summer squash, and leeks. White wine, thyme and garlic add the delicious taste of the south of France.


Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Gratin
This is basically a healthier, lighter and actually tastier take on eggplant parm that comes from Martha Rose Shulman's excellent Recipes for Health series in the New York Times. Packed with flavors, very hearty and satisfying.


Heirloom Tomato Sauce with Italian Sausage & Basil
A super tasty sauce filled with fresh herbs, sausage and, of course, tomatoes. Due to the inclusion of meat, either eat this one right away or freeze it for later.


Chopped Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Herbs & Feta
This simple salad is so flavorful, flesh and flexible that it's become one of my favorites. Also a perfect way to make use of summer's last cucumbers, tomatoes and fresh herbs.


Sweet Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad
My mom-in-law makes this often and I find it positively addictive! Sweet, fresh, flavorful and very, very easy... (a great way to make use of leftover corn on the cob, too.)

Ni癟oise Salad
This hearty and beautiful composed salad is one of my very favorite things in the world. So many good tastes in one bowl and healthy and fresh to boot.


Garden Salad
Ripe tomatoes are so good in salad. Don't overlook this easy way of highlighting them! Add some ripe cucumber for crunch and a little cheese for substance and dress with your favorite vinegar and some good quality organic olive oil with a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.


For Now and Later

Rustic Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic & Herbs
This is my new favorite way to prepare big, juicy tomatoes. Just cut in half, toss with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, whatever herbs you have on hand and some sliced garlic and roast for two hours on low. The result is a sweet, gooey, flavor-packed mess of summer flavors that you can toss with pasta or freeze to use in sauces and stews this winter.


Heirloom Tomato Salsa
Once you've made your own salsa, it's pretty hard to go back to store-bought. Although you can just make this as a one-time treat, I recommend making a big batch and canning some to use throughout the year -- soooooo good!


Pickled Green Tomatoes
If frost threatens, you can still pick your tomatoes green and make some tasty pickles out of them. This recipes comes from Marisa at the incomparable Food In Jars - check her and her cookbooks out if you're into canning and preserving.


Tomato Jam
You might not think of tomatoes and jam in the same breath but you really should... Sweet, spicy (think ginger, cloves, chili flakes and more) and simply amazing when combined with goat cheese and any kind of bread product. Hands down the best jam I've ever made. Make a batch - they make great gifts.


Spicy-Sweet Barbecue Sauce
It's actually pretty easy to make your own BBQ sauce and the result is so good! Sweet and spicy with deep flavors that make anything from tofu to a T-bone taste delicious.


Slow, Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
Ripe tomatoes (you can use any size or type) combined with a few minutes of prep time and roughly 8-10 hours of slow cooking in a low heat oven yield the most divine concentrated dried tomatoes you'll ever eat. Add some herbs, balsamic vinegar and/or garlic for an even more ecstatic eating experience. You can eat them right away (great on bread, in salads, as a basis for sauce and more), pack a jar for the fridge or freeze them in bags or jars to enjoy all year-long.

Simple Pasta Sauce with Garlic & Herbs
Nothing captures the flavors of summer like homemade pasta sauce. You can eat this simple sauce right away or can or freeze some for the colder months ahead. You'll thank yourself during the dark days of winter when you're able to grab one of these magical jars of  sweet summer flavors to make an easy dinner special...


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