French-Style Ratatouille

basil in a basket

Imagine the scent of fresh basil.

1 large eggplant
1 medium yellow onion
2 small bell peppers
3 medium zucchini
2 large tomatoes
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
2 whole sprigs thyme
1/4 cup loosely packed basil, sliced into ribbons
Extra basil for garnishing
Salt and pepper

Chop eggplant into bite-sized cubes. Transfer to a strainer set over a bowl and toss with teaspoon salt. Let sit awhile.

Dice onions and roughly chop peppers, zucchinis, and tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Mince garlic. Vegetables will be cooked in batches, so keep each in a separate bowl.

Warm a teaspoon olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and generous pinch salt. Sauté until onions have softened and are beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add peppers and continue cooking until soft, another 5 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl.

Add another teaspoon of oil to pot and sauté zucchini with generous pinch of salt until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add to onions and peppers.

Rinse eggplant under running water and squeeze cubes gently to remove as much moisture as possible. Warm two teaspoons oil in pan and sauté until softened and beginning to turn translucent, about 10 minutes. Add to other vegetables.

During cooking, a brown glaze will gradually build in the pan. Dissolve glaze between batches by pouring 1/4 cup water or red wine into pan and scraping up glaze. Pour deglazing liquid into veggie bowl.

Warm another teaspoon olive oil and sauté garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, and thyme. As tomato juices begin to bubble, scrape up brown glaze.

Add all vegetables back into pan and stir until evenly mixed. Bring to a simmer, then turn down to low. Stir occasionally for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 1/2 hours. Longer cooking time will break vegetables down into a silky stew.

Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs and stir in basil. Sprinkle extra basil and a glug of good olive oil over each bowl as you serve.

Ratatouille is often better the second day, and it can be eaten cold, room temperature, or warm.

We thank thekitchn.com for this recipe.

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Potatoes Au Gratin with Fennel & Bacon

fennel

What can you do with fennel? Add bacon!

1 lb sliced bacon
5 Tbsp. butter
5 Tbsp. Nash’s soft white flour
3.5 cups milk
½ tsp. white pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 pinch ground nutmeg
2.5 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 lb. yellow potatoes, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
7 leaves fresh basil, or 1 Tbsp. dried

Preheat the oven to 325° F. Fry bacon in a large skillet until browned. Drain on paper towels. Chop or crumble, and set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth and starting to bubble. Gradually whisk in milk while stirring constantly so that no lumps form. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with white pepper, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until smooth, adding a handful at a time. Set aside.

Use 1/3 of the potatoes to make a layer in the bottom of a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with 1/3 of the fennel, 1/3 of the bacon and 1/3 of the basil. Pour about 1/3 of the cheese sauce over everything. Repeat layers two more times or until you run out of room. Cover the dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the cover during the last 30 minutes to allow the top to brown if desired.

We thank AllRecipes.com for this recipe.

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Summer Grain Salad

This recipe calls for Nash’s triticale berries (above), but actually any of our organic whole grain berries, i.e., soft white or hard red wheat, rye, or hard white, would work. The cooking instructions are the same. The grains add a delightful chewy texture and protein to a salad that is already teeming with good stuff for your health.

All ingredients are optional, and quantities are suggestions, not rules. Feel free to add other ingredients, like cauliflower or spinach. For even more flavor, add herbs like parsley, basil or dill. The quantities can easily be increased for summertime parties.

Veggies
1/2 pound triticale berries or other wheat berries
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes or regular-sized heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 bunch of your favorite kale, coarsely chopped
1 head broccoli, chopped
1/2 Walla Walla sweet onion (or sweet red onion)
2 carrots, shredded
1 beet (any variety), shredded

Dressing
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 clovers garlic, chopped

Soak the triticale berries overnight. The next day, drain the triticale berries, then add enough fresh water to cover them with about 1″ of water. Boil about 1 hour until berries are plump and chewy. Drain and cool.

In the meantime, chop your veggies. Once the triticale berries cool, mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the berries, then add your veggies and mix everything together.

Let the flavors mingle for a few hours in the fridge before serving.

Thanks, Rachel Covault, packing shed manager, for this great recipe idea!

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Marinated Zucchini and Yellow Squash Salad

Green Zucchini

Gadzukes! It’s time for zukes!

1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
3 zucchini (about 1 ½ lbs.)
2 yellow squash (about 3/4 lb.)
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Combine vinegar, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until sugar dissolves. Trim ends of zucchini and squash; cut into thin ribbons with harp-shaped peeler. Add to vinegar mixture. Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight.

Bring a small pan of water to a boil; add garlic. Remove with a slotted spoon after 1 minute. Rinse under cold water; set aside. Add basil to boiling water; immediately remove and rinse under cold water. Reserve 1 tablespoon of cooking liquid. Transfer garlic and basil to a food processor, and add lemon juice, olive oil, reserved water, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Process until smooth.

Drain squash, and divide among 4 plates. Top with cubed mozzarella, and drizzle with basil oil.

We thank Health.com for this recipe.

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Kia’s One Pot Buttery Beets & Pasta

After a day of summer camp and sprinklers, my kids needed some nutritious refueling. I had some fresh beets with greens on hand, which inspired this quick, one pot dish for dinner. Colorful beets are high in phytonutrient pigments, and rich in antioxidants. They’re also high in folate and a B vitamin important for a healthy heart and for normal tissue growth. Hooray for beets!

2-4 beets with greens
6-8 ounces pasta
Baby dill (or cilantro or basil)
Butter

Prep your veggies
Scrub beets clean, then chop into 1/2 inch slices (no need to peel!).

Rinse the beet greens and thinly slice them, stems and all.

Mince up a few big pinches of baby dill, or more if desired.

Cook everything in one pot
Get a medium pot of water boiling, and add the beets.

After 3-5 minutes, add the pasta to the beets, and note cooking time (my spaghetti package said 3-4 minutes). After 2 minutes, add the beet greens and dill. Stir pot occasionally.

When pasta has cooked, pour the whole pot through a fine meshed strainer so you don’t loose the greens and herbs. Transfer the pasta and veggies back into your cooking pot, but remove from heat.

Add two or three tablespoons of butter, more the better! Stir everything together and season with salt and pepper. You can also add cheese if desired, but we skipped it and the kids still devoured their dinner. Sweet, nutritious beets for the win!

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Walnut Beet Patties

Sliced beets1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
2 medium onions, finely diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice)
4 teaspoons dried oregano*
4 teaspoons dried basil*
4 teaspoons dried thyme*
2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 pound carrots (about 3 medium), grated
1 1/4 pounds (about 3-4 medium) beets, grated
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
3/4 pounds walnuts, chopped in food processor
Extra virgin coconut oil for frying

Rinse quinoa and place it in a small pot with the broth. Cover and bring to a boil; let simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit for another 20 minutes. Allow to cool.

Sauté onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and herbs and sauté another 5 minutes. Grate the beets and carrots.

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Form into 15 to 20 patties. Over medium heat, fry the patties in a little coconut oil until lightly brown, about 7 minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking tray and continue cooking in the oven for another 15 – 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve warm or let them cool. Got extra patties? They freeze well!

*If fresh herbs are available, you only need 1 1/2 teaspoons of the fresh herb.

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Parmesan Polenta with Sausage Ragù

Cornmeal, different grinds

Both the polenta and the ragù can be made ahead of time, for a quick, easy, yet delicious weekday meal.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound Nash’s Italian sausage
1 red onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups Nash’s medium-grind cornmeal (use the coarse grind if you like a more rustic texture)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat; add sausage and cook, breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add tomatoes and boil; simmer until thick, 20 minutes. Add basil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, bring sea salt and 5 cups water to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan. Slowly add cornmeal and cook, stirring constantly, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, 8 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining oil, Parmesan, and salt. Divide between bowls and top with ragù; garnish with more Parmesan. Serves 4.

We thank Saveur.com for this recipe.

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Green Goddess Dressing

lettuce in the field

This dressing is super on green salads, but also on wraps and anywhere else that could use some tasty green sauce.

3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup green onions (white and green parts)
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced (just make sure it gets chopped when you puree it with the blender!)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Puree all ingredients together in a blender. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 or 5 days. Shake before each use.

We thank 100daysofrealfood.com for this recipe.

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Garlic-Spinach-Yogurt Dip

garlic scapes, bunched

Garlic scapes may look wild, but they have a pleasantly tame garlic flavor.

Use as a dip for veggies or strawberries, or use the dip to top baked potatoes. As a dressing it’s excellent on any salad, but really good with a salad made from lettuce, spinach, strawberries, Walla Walla onions, and pecans.

1 cup oil
2 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
5-6 leaves spinach
4 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
5-6 large fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic scapes, chopped
1 cup nonfat Greek or plain yogurt
For pourable dressing, add a small amount of buttermilk to thin.

Blend all ingredients except yogurt for about a minute. Add yogurt and give it a brief blending. Chill about an hour. Keeps for about a week in refrigerator in closed container.

We thank Pam Maurides for this great recipe.

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Kia’s Tahini Balsamic Salad Dressing

dressing fixings

Here’s an easy, quick homemade salad dressing with wonderful, complex flavor.

Although this salad dressing has ten or eleven ingredients listed, it’s actually really simple to make, and can be infinitely adjusted to suit your tastes, or what’s in your pantry/fridge!

1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
2-3 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon finely diced fresh herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary, etc)
1 tablespoon stone-ground or Dijon mustard
1/4 cup hemp oil (optional)
35 twists on the pepper grinder
3 lemons, juiced (or limes)
2/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1-inch nub of ginger, finely grated (optional)

homemade salad dressing

Shake, shake, shake, and you’re done!

Combine everything in a quart mason jar, screw lid on tight and shake vigorously for about two minutes. Done!

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