Thursday, October 3, 2013

Week Seventeen: Early Nights

I can’t believe it’s October already! I’m still bummed that the nights are coming faster, but I’m loving the extended summer weather we've been having. I had to go into Boston yesterday morning and ended up walking a little over 2 miles around the city in what was probably the perfect “walking” weather: not too cold in the shadows but not too hot in the sunlight. (I’m only a little sore today.)
Cruising down Route 2 this weekend.
For the first time in ages, we didn’t walk around the picking fields – so hopefully we didn’t miss anything good! We’ve had decent luck with the raspberries, as I’ve said before, by just strolling through and snacking on what looks good. The harvest is starting to get smaller, but I’m looking forward to some yummy fall squash soon! You can probably guess what we picked up this week – we’re creatures of habit, I guess: tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, lettuce, peppers (red bell and sweet frying), leeks, and broccoli rabe (new!).

It’s been a busy week so I tried to focus on “easy” veg – last night was my big cooking night. I made “Shallot Surprise” and sautéed the broccoli rabe for a side. This weekend I need to find a way to use up all of my potatoes (about 3 or 4 pounds)… maybe gnocchi? I’ve got lots of extra scallions, too, so will need to do something with those. Yikes!

“Shallot Surprise” (a riff on Rachael Ray’s “That’s Shallotta Flavor Pasta”)

~1 lb shallots
1 lb pasta
Olive oil
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c Romano cheese (grated)

Peel and slice the shallots. (I hate this part – my eyes water like crazy! I have to do this right next to the stove with the exhaust fan on high, but that doesn’t always help very much. I’m told you can also do this with your gas stove on very low heat, to burn off the sulfur fumes.) Heat a couple tablespoons each of butter and olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté til it’s fragrant, then add the shallots.
I was too weepy slicing these to get a picture!
Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the shallots start to caramelize. Meanwhile, cook pasta per the directions on the box. When almost done cooking, add about a cup or so of the water to the skillet (it will sizzle) and add the cheese. Add the drained pasta and carefully toss to coat with the cheese and shallots. Add more cheese and/or water as needed to evenly coat pasta with the sauce.

Serve hot with additional cheese and freshly ground pepper.

Sautéed Broccoli Rabe (based on Rachael Ray's)

1 lb broccoli rabe, stems trimmed
1-2 T cooking oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice and zest of one lemon

Bring about an inch of water to boil in a large, deep skillet. Coarsely shop the broccoli rabe, then add to the boiling water and reduce heat to simmer. Salt the water, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Drain the rabe really well, then put the pan back on the stove. Add the oil, garlic, and some of the zest and cook over medium heat for a minute or two, then add the drained rabe to the pan. Sauté a couple more minutes, and transfer to serving dish. Toss with lemon juice and remaining zest to serve.

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