Spinach

Persian Sweet Potato Stew

It feels so good to be cooking again. Making dinners and baking breads really does serve to center me. Especially when I get to use foods I grew. Even though I am planning and preparing my garden for this season, I still have lots of sweet potatoes that I harvested in the fall.

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This stew was fabulous. It was very reminiscent of Qormeh Sabzi, yet different. And it was and easy. And best of all, unusual for Persian dishes, it is ready an hour after you start chopping the onion.

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It is a flexible dish; as we were eating it, we though of various other possible additions: green beans, kidney beans, other greens, etc. It is only limited by your creativity.IMG_5841

Persian Sweet Potato Stew

inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Iranian Vegetable Stew with Dried Lime

1 Tbsp grape seed oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp dried fenugreek
1 Tbsp dried dill
1 1/2 lbs waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2″ chunks
1 1/2 lbs sweet potato peeled and chopped into 1 1/2″ chunks (from the garden)
3 dried limes, pierced 2-3 times
1 whole anaheim chilli, slit on one side from stem to tip
Salt
5 medium tomatoes, quartered – or 6 canned tomatoes, crushed
5 oz spinach leaves

Directions

Heat the oven to 350F. Put a large dutch oven on medium heat and sauté the butter, onion, turmeric and cumin for 10 minutes.

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Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for two minutes.

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To the pot, add the fenugreek, dill, potatoes, squash, limes, chili, tomatoes, a teaspoon and a half of salt and 4 cups of water.

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Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and boil gently for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are semi-cooked.

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Stir in the spinach, crushing the limes gently as you do so, to release some of the juices inside.

Transfer to a large roasting tray and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a little and the vegetables are soft.

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Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes, remove the limes, serve with rice and enjoy!

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Serves 6 – 8

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Spinach Empanadas

I had spent days and days baking cookies and cakes for Hanukkah. I thought I was finally finished baking.  I went through 10 lbs of flour in just a few days! I put away my baking mat and pushed the standing mixer back into the corner. I was done.

And the next day…I decided to make empanadas for dinner. Out came the mixer. Out came the mat. Out came the flour…and the butter…and…

sweet potatoes from my garden and spinach from the CSA! Yes, vegetarian empanadas.

The filling was delicious, just the right amount of smokiness from the adobo sauce.  Thank goodness the recipe made extra – we munched on the filling by itself as the empanadas baked.

The pastry was one of the best I have ever made. It was super buttery and flaky.

I served it with some home-made guacamole, chipotle salsa and mild salsa.

Smoky Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Spinach Empanadas

from Smells Like Browniescrust from Epicurious
makes 7-8

Crust:
2¼ cups flour
1½ tsp. salt
½ cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg
⅓ cup ice water
1 tbsp. white vinegar

Filling:
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup finely diced shallot
2 large cloves garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
2 tsp. adobo sauce
½ tsp. salt
2 packed cups chopped baby spinach
1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1½ cups sweet potato mash (from about 1 large sweet potato, microwaved for 7-8 minutes) (from the garden)
egg wash
guacamole, sour cream, and/or salsa, for serving

Directions

Whisk together the flour and salt for the crust. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry cutter, working until the butter is about the size of peas and well mixed with the flour.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Stir in the ice water and vinegar.

Gently mix the liquid with the flour, using a fork in a fluffing motion. When all of the liquid has been mixed in and the dough is in large clumps, turn it out onto a clean work surface. Knead 5–6 times, or until all of the shaggy bits of flour have been absorbed into the dough. Shape the dough into a 1″ thick rectangle and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the shallot is translucent and barely beginning to brown. Stir in the cumin, coriander, adobo, and salt.

Stir in the spinach and let it wilt for 1 minute. Add the black beans and sweet potato mash and stir until all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. Remove the filling from the heat and let it cool while rolling out the crust dough.

Heat the oven to 400°.

Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a floured work surface. Roll it out to about ¼″ thickness. Use a 6″ round cutter or trace a bowl to cut 6″ circles. Re-roll the dough as needed to incorporate the scraps. Aim for 7–8 dough circles.

Transfer the crust rounds to a lined baking sheet. Brush the edges with egg wash.
Drop about ⅓ cup of the filling in the center of each circle. There may be a little filling left over, but do not give in to the temptation to over-fill the empanadas, or they will be unable to close.

Fold the dough circle in half over the filling to form a filled semicircle. Press the edges together with a fork and prick the top of each empanada 3 times to create vents.

Brush the tops of the empanadas thoroughly with egg wash.

Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and baked through. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with guacamole, sour cream, or garlicky salsa for dipping. Enjoy!

Makes 7 – 8 empanadas, serves 6 – 8.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Butternut Squash Lasagna Roll Ups

Time to use another section of my giant crookneck squash.

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I roasted about 2/3 of the neck and since I only needed 2 1/2 cups of pulp, it was still too much , so I will need to find another use for the couple of extra cups of pulp. Since even just the plain roasted pulp was delicious, that will not be a difficult thing to do.

I used the squash in place of butternut for these lasagna roll ups. The squash is the base for both the filling and the sauce.

They were delicious!

Butternut Squash Lasagna Roll Ups

Slightly adapted from Proud Italian Cook

1 butternut squash (or part of a crookneck squash), enough to get 2 1/2 cups of pulp (locally grown)

10 cooked lasagna noodles

FOR THE FILLING

2 cups of squash pulp

1 cup ricotta

¼ cup of cooked, chopped spinach, measured after it is drained well

½ cup of grated parmesan

⅓ cup of grated asiago

1 egg (locally raised)

1 small garlic clove grated on a microplane

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE SAUCE

½ cup of reserved squash pulp, pureed smoother than the pulp for the filling

2 shallots, finely diced (I used 1 shallot and 2 very small onions from my garden)

½ stick, unsalted butter

1 small bunch of sage leaves (from the garden)

¾ cup of stock, I used vegetable

¾ cup of cream

½ cup of grated parmesan

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Prepare the squash ahead of time (you can even do it the day before and refrigerate it until ready for use).  Cut lengthwise, with skin still on, remove seeds and roast the squash, cut side down at 350 degrees until tender and a knife goes through with ease, close to an hour. Let it cool, then scoop out pulp.

FILLING MIXTURE

Mash 2 cups of the squash pulp into small chunks, making it easy for spreading.

Add in ricotta, egg, cheeses,grated garlic, zest, salt and pepper.

Mix together well, then fold in spinach until incorporated.

SAUCE

In a medium-sized skillet, saute the shallots in the butter with the sage leaves until slightly golden.

Remove the sage leaves, then add the broth and whisk in the ½ cup of the well pureed squash that was reserved until nice and smooth on low heat.

Whisk in the cream and add the grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

ASSEMBLY & BAKING

Place a little sauce on the bottom of a shallow baking dish.

Spread about 3 tablespoons of filling on each cooked lasagna noodle.

Roll up and place them seam side down in the baking dish.

Spoon sauce on top of each lasagna roll up, plus grate a little parmesan cheese on top of each. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, sauce will be set and top will be slightly golden.

Serve topped with some sauce and enjoy!!

Serves 4-5.

Categories: Butternut Squash, Kosher, Main Dish, Pasta, Recipe, Spinach, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Watermelon and Blue Cheese Salad

Refreshing decadence!

Not much more to say than that.  Enjoy!

Ok, there’s more to say.  But mostly about the watermelon.  Several years ago the Magee’s hired me to help them apply to use an historic farm property for a farm market and u-pick. We were successful and over the past few years they have built a thriving operation!  I stopped by their market on that site a few days ago and bought one of their sugar baby watermelons.  This salad is the result…

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Watermelon and Blue Cheese Salad

Adapted from Taste of Home – Juicy Watermelon Salad

4 – 5 cups seedless watermelon, balled (from Magee Farms)

1 small red onion, sliced in half moons

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1 cup baby spinach

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (I used a pear balsamic)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Kosher salt

Black pepper to taste

3 ounces crumbled blue cheese

Directions

In a large bowl, combine watermelon and onion; cover and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.

Just before serving, add almonds and spinach to watermelon mixture.

Pour on the dressing  and the cheese and toss to coat.  Enjoy!

Serves 4 – 5.

 

Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Spinach, Vegetarian | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Spinach & Potato Frittata

I am finally harvesting some spinach from the garden!! Spring must actually be here (even if the sun hasn’t made an appearance yet).

It has been a frustrating spring.  First, the groundhog came back and ate all the greens I planted (except spinach, he doesn’t like spinach). Then I put up a solar powered electric fence to keep him out, which it did, until we had about 10 days without sun and the battery died. So that day he devastated the garden again. But the sun peaked out enough to charge the battery and we were back on the following day.

But it has been so cold and rainy, that all the plants are running a few weeks behind schedule.  I planted some of my tomato seedlings, but something at their tops.  And the rest of the seedlings are taking a long time to get big enough.  And all the rain has, I think, rotted the seeds I planted. So it looks like I will be buying tomato zucchini and winter squash plants.  At least my strawberries and snap peas are happy (they got established before the endless rains). Now, if I only get some sun, there will be strawberries!

Spinach & Potato Frittata

adapted from Tori Avey Potato Crusted Spinach Frittata

2 medium russet potatoes, ~1 lb. total

8 eggs

1 Tbsp water

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped (from the garden)

1 cup crumbled  feta cheese 

Directions

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Shred the potatoes using the food processor’s shredding blade. Place the potato in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let them sit for a few minutes while you prep the other ingredients.

 

Beat the eggs with the water, salt and pepper until fluffy. Set aside.

 

Place a cast iron skillet on the stove and heat over medium high heat. While heating, drain the potato in a colander, then place them in the middle of a clean tea towel.

 

Squeeze the shreds in the tea towel to remove excess liquid.

 

When the skillet is hot, pour 3 tbsp olive oil into it. It should be hot enough that you’ll see wisps of smoke coming from the surface. Immediately spread out the potato into the bottom of the skillet, forming an even layer of shreds along the bottom. The potato should sizzle.

 

Cover the skillet with a lid (any pot lid that covers the top will do) . Let the potatoes cook for 5 minutes. Uncover the skillet. Spread out the chopped spinach evenly across the top of the potatoes in a single layer. Recover the skillet for 1 minute longer until the spinach is slightly wilted.

 

Uncover the skillet and sprinkle evenly with the crumbled cheese.

 

Re-beat the eggs, then pour evenly across the top of the cheese to cover.

 

Place the skillet into the preheated oven and let it cook at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the skillet comes out clean. Remove the frittata from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes on the stovetop. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 6

 

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Spinach | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Mediterranean Style Quiche

While I wait for my garden to start producing this year I still have sun-dried tomatoes from my garden and eggs from Farmer Kim. These tomatoes were in my fridge, so the oil has solidified a bit.  That is fine, it will melt and be quite useful when the tomatoes are cooked.


Perhaps a more fitting name for this is spanakopita quiche. This tasted like a luxurious, creamy version of a spanakopita.

I live sun dried tomatoes, and the addition of them to this quiche was perfect. Every few bites you would find their flavor bursting in your mouth.

Mediterranean Style Quiche

from KosherintheKitch.com

3 eggs (from Farmer Kim)
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped frozen spinach
6 – 8 sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, julienned (from the garden)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
~1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese, enough to cover bottom of pie crust
9″ deep dish pie crust (home-made or frozen)

Directions

Blind bake the pie crust, set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, cream, salt, and pepper, blending until smooth and well combined. Set aside.

Over medium-high heat, saute onions and sun dried tomatoes (there should be enough oil from the tomatoes to help with the cooking process, but if not, add a little more). Cook until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add spinach and continue cooking until spinach is soft. Season lightly (depending on how salty your feta is). Remove from heat and set aside.

When pie crust is done, cover bottom with crumbled feta cheese.

Top with spinach mixture. Make sure the spinach and cheese evenly cover the bottom of the pie crust. They will float up during the baking process.

Pour in egg mixture.

Bake for about 20 minutes. Decrease oven temperature to 350 and continue baking for an additional 20-25 minutes (about 45 minutes total baking time), or until filling has set. If crust or top begins to brown too much, cover gently with foil.

Cool slightly and serve warm. 

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Spinach | Tags: | 7 Comments

Kuku-ye Sabzi, II (Persian Heb Omelette)

Persian new year is here and one traditional dish to serve is kuku-ye sabzi, an herb omelet. Sabz is also the color green, and that is exactly how this kuku should look when you cut into it, a nice deep green.

It starts with a mix of herbs and green vegetables.  I like to include spinach, although that is less traditional.

It all gets chopped fairly finely.

We also top ours with feta cheese (preferably Bulgarian feta).  This is also not traditional, but we find it really brightens the flavor;

Kuku-ye Sabzi 

1 cup chopped spinach

1 cup chopped parsley

1 cup chopped scallions

1 cup chopped leeks

1 Tbsp dried fenugreek

5 or 6 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1/4 cup walnuts (start with 1/4 cup walnuts, then finely chop them)

1 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp whole wheat flour

3 Tbsp canola oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Crumbled feta

Directions

Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the spinach, parsley, scallions, leeks and fenugreek and fry for 5 minutes. Let cool completely.

Beat the eggs well.  Add baking soda, salt, pepper, flour and walnuts.

Add the vegetables and mix well.

Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat until it is hot.  Pour in the egg mixture and flatten with the back of the spatula to evenly spread out the greens. Cover and reduce heat a little, cook for 10 minutes until the bottom is cooked through.

Remove the cover.  Cut into 4 pieces, flip each piece over and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, until browned.

Transfer to a serving plate and cut into smaller slices if you want. 

Top with crumbled feta. A bit untraditional, but good! Serve and enjoy!

Serves 4 as a main dish 8 as an appetizer.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe, Spinach, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Roasted Winter Vegetable Strata (Jerusalem Artichokes, Brussels Sprouts & Spinach)

My search for new uses for my Jerusalem artichokes led me to an unexpected place today. I had fully planned on making a roasted vegetable and pasta dinner, but then I spied a half loaf of a hearty whole wheat bread I had made sitting on the counter.

As you can see, it was a nice crusty loaf. So my mind turned to making a strata. It has probably been 20 years since I made a strata, but…why not try. So I searched through various recipes and decided on approximate ratios I would use for bread to milk, eggs, and cheese.

So, in addition to my bread and the Jerusalem artichokes from my garden, 

I had brussels sprouts and eggs from Highland Orchards, organic milk from Trickling Springs Farm, and and some organic spinach and extra sharp cheddar cheese. All flavors that would come together well in my strata.

It was delicious if I do say so myself!

I almost liked it even better as a cold leftover the next day for lunch.

Roasted Winter Vegetable Strata (Jerusalem Artichokes, Brussels Sprouts & Spinach) 

1/2 lb Jerusalem artichokes, sliced 1/4″ thick (from the garden)

1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, sliced 1/4″ thick (from Highland Orchards)

4 – 5 cups baby spinach

1 Tbsp olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 – 5 cups hearty bread, cubed (from my kitchen)

1 1/4 cups milk (from Trickling Springs Farm)

4 eggs, beaten (from Highland Orchards)

6 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Directions

Heat the oven to 425F.

In a large bowl, toss the Jerusalem artichokes and Brussels sprouts with the oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.

Toss the spinach in the same bowl that the other vegetables were in to coalt lightly with the remaining oil and seasoning. Add the spinach and roast for another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce oven to 350F.

In a small bowl, mix together the eggs and milk.

Coat a 3 qt casserole with cooking spray.

Mix together the bread, cheese and roasted vegetables and turn out into the casserole dish.

Pour the milk and eggs over the bread mixture and press it dow slightly to soak the topmost pieces of bread.

Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, until the casserole has set.

Serve and enjoy!

Serves 4.

Categories: Breakfast, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Spinach | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Quick Braised Asparagus, Green Beans, Edamame and Spinach

Spring has finally arrived in Delaware! And with it, the ability to get my garden tilled and ready for the main spring planing. My husband spent the afternoon enjoying the sunshine while the tiller shook his arm so much that his fitbit thought he did 27,000 steps!

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While he was busy in my garden (ok, our garden), I accompanied Cam to his first official race, a 1/4 mile race for kindergarteners and 1st graders.  Part of the Healthy Kids Running Series – what a great event this was.  He absolutely loved it. And announced that he would practice running in our neighborhood so he can get faster.

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Spring also means that my local farm market is now open, so I now had green beans and asparagus from Fifer Orchards.  I decided to combine them with some edamame I had in the freezer and baby spinach as a side dish to have with our dinner.

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Quick Braised Asparagus, Green Beans, Edamame and Spinach

Adapted from Curtis Stone’s Quick-Braised Spring Vegetables

4 scallions, trimmed and sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (from my garden)

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth

8 ounces asparagus, woody ends trimmed, stalks cut into 1 1⁄2-inch pieces

1 cup green beans trimmed and halved crosswise (from Fifer Orchards)

1 cup shelled frozen edamame

4 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground citrus pepper (or black pepper)

Kosher salt

Directions

In a large heavy skillet, combine the scallions, garlic, oil, and broth and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook for about
2 minutes, or until the scallion softens.

Add the asparagus, green beans, and edamame, cover for one minute, then uncover and sauté for about
2 minutes, or until the beans and peas are heated through.

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Add the spinach and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until the spinach wilts and the asparagus is crisp-tender.

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Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Serves 3 – 6.

Categories: Asparagus, Edamame, Green Beans, Kosher, Recipe, Spinach, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Spinach Stuffed Shells

When I was a child, I was a horrible eater, so picky.  One of my daughters was also a picky eater, and it was a real hassle, but she was easy compared to me.  My poor mother, there were so few dinners I would eat; I struggle to think of more than 5.  Often, she resorted to pancakes or cereal – maybe that is why, to this day, I love breakfast for dinner?  Eventually, when I hit my teens, she was slowly able to add to my dinner menu.  One of the hits that worked for both me and my almost pickier brother was spinach stuffed shells.

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Over the years, I have evolved the dish, changing the cheese to whole milk rather than part-skim, changing the ratios of spinach to cheese, changing sauces.  But it is still a very easy, very tasty dinner that also served me well with my picky daughter who wouldn’t eat anything green but the green in here was ok.  I make the marinara sauce, but you can use jarred sauce; I use creamed spinach, I like it best, but you can also use chopped spinach if you can’t find creamed.

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Spinach Stuffed Shells

12 oz pkg Jumbo shells

9 oz pks frozen creamed spinach

15 ox container whole milk ricotta cheese

8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 1/2 cups marinara sauce

Directions

About 1  – 1 1/2 hours before you plan to serve dinner, prepare the shells according to package directions.  Rinse and drain.

Prepare the creamed spinach, open the package, cool.

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Heat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, mozzarella, salt, pepper and spinach.

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Pour the sauce into a 9 x 13 pan.  Stuff the shells.

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Add the shells to the dish.

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Bake for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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Serves 6-8.

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Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Pasta, Recipe, Spinach, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

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