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Posts Tagged basil

Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Watermelon is one of those fruits that I want to just cut and eat.  For years I made pretty watermelon baskets with cut up fruit for any party or event that I was hosting.  The cut up fruit disappears, everyone loves it.  Combining watermelon with tomatoes is something that seems to be very popular right now.  Try this recipe yourself and form your own opinions.

Watermelon for many years was thought to have a high sugar content.  Now it has been said that you can be better hydrated with a piece of watermelon than just a glass of water.

Again here is a piece of summer that is staying with us in September.  Enjoy!

8 cups 1 1/4-inch chunks seedless watermelon (about 6 pounds)
3 pounds ripe tomatoes in assorted colors, cored, cut into 1 1/4-inch chunks (about 6 cups)
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped assorted fresh herbs (such as dill, basil, and mint)
6 cups fresh arugula leaves or small watercress sprigs
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 5 ounces)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Combine melon and tomatoes in large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and toss to blend; let stand 15 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and herbs to melon mixture.  Season to taste with pepper and more salt, if desired.

Toss arugula in medium bowl with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Divide arugula among plates. Top with melon salad; sprinkle with feta cheese and toasted almonds and serve.

From: Epicurious.com

Tomato-Mozzarella Tart with Basil-Garlic Crust

I sometimes serve just sliced tomatoes for the purest flavor, other times I love the pairing fresh herbs and cheese with farm fresh tomatoes.

For the Basil-Garlic Crust:

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1 medium garlic clove
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut in 8 pieces
4-5 Tbsp. cold water

Place basil and garlic in the bowl of the Cuisinart fitted with the normal blade. Process until finely chopped, occasionally  scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add flour and salt and pulse to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse a few times until the mixture is the size of peas. Drizzle in the water and pulse until the dough comes together into a ball. Remove and flatten into a disc wrapped in plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour.

For the Tart:

8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
2 large, ripe tomatoes (about 1 lb), sliced thin
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Fit the dough into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Preheat the oven to 375. Line the bottom of the tart shell with mozzarella slices covering it completely. Arrange tomato slices over the cheese in an overlapping ring starting along the outside edge and another on the inside to cover the entire shell. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with the oil. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has golden blisters, about 35-40 minutes. Cool at least 5 minutes before slicing, or serve

The Kitchen Garden CSA

Pasta a la Norma

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1/2 medium red onion, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
2 medium eggplants cut into medium dice
1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes, chopped
2 sprigs fresh basil, plus leaves for garnish
1 sprig fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound macaroni (rigatoni)
1/2 pound ricotta salata, coarsely grated ( or parmesan)
1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped
1/4 bunch mint, leaves chopped
Chili flakes, to taste

Bring 6 quarts water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
In a 12 to 14-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil until smoking. Add the onion and the garlic and cook until soft but not yet browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring regularly until softened and lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, and thyme, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions, until al dente. Drain well and pour the hot pasta into the pan with the eggplant mixture. Add ricotta salata and heat through.
Garnish with parsley, mint, chili flakes and basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

From Mario Batali

Boursin Cheese (Homemade)

Every year I prepared this cheese with my students as a part of a lesson about herbs. Everyone loved it!  Now that we have all of these herbs growing in our gardens it might be the perfect time for you to prepare and serve.

•    2 garlic cloves
•    8 ounces butter, at room temperature
•    16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
•    3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (freshly-grated)
•    1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced or 1 t dried dill weed, crumbled
•    1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano or marjoram
•    1 Tablespoon minced basil
•    2  teaspoons fresh chopped chives
•    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
•    1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, crumbled
•    2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Have cheeses and butter at room temperature.

Crush garlic.

Beat together the cheeses, butter and garlic until smooth.

Add remaining ingredients, mix well.

Pack the cheese into a container just large enough to hold the boursin and store in refrigerator.

To serve, bring to room temperature.

Serve with slices of French bread, bread sticks or crackers.

Adapted from: Food.com

Snap Pea Salad with Burrata

I prepared this salad over the weekend with a mixture of lettuce greens and some arugula for a total of 4 cups.

 
8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed, strings removed
4 cups arugula, thick stems trimmed
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves plus more for serving
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves plus more for serving
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
1 pound burrata or fresh buffalo mozzarella

 
Cut pea pods in half lengthwise, leaving some peas on each side of pods. Combine peas, arugula, 1/4 cup basil, and 1/4 cup mint in a large bowl. Add oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice and toss to coat. Season salad with salt and more lemon juice, if desired.
Tear open balls of burrata (if using buffalo mozzarella, slice 1/2-inch thick) and arrange on a platter. Top with salad and more basil and mint.

 
From: Bon Appetit, May 2013

Tomato Vegetable Casserole

Many thanks again to CSA member Kathy Okaly who sent us this recipe that she has prepared and enjoyed.  These ingredients will work as we transition from summer to fall with a mixture of ingredients.

1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium yam, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
2 small or 1 large zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
Salt and pepper
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons dried Italian-style bread crumbs
Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Toss the potato, yam, bell pepper, carrots, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss until coated. Spread vegetables evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Arrange the onion slices evenly over the vegetable mixture. Arrange the zucchini over the onion. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the tomato slices over the zucchini.

Stir the Parmesan and bread crumbs in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the Parmesan bread crumbs over the vegetables in the baking dish. Drizzle with the last tablespoon of olive oil.

Bake uncovered until the vegetables are tender, and the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs, if desired.

From: The Food Network

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